MIL OSI Analysis – BNZ Economist Tony Alexander – Analysis:
Other surveys show businesses in New Zealand to be very down in the mouth – which is perhaps not surprising considering the decline in our previous rock star sector – dairy – and the worries being expressed about our previous rock star export destination – China.
But unlike countries where things which are exported are usually made from many smaller things which have been imported, the fall in our currency is providing a clear net boost to many export sectors.
Tourism particularly is being turbocharged, but operators are also happy about the lower currency and noting improving sales in manufacturing, education, wine, Kiwifruit, advertising, business consultancy, retailing and packaging. Growth in our economy is slowing and interest rates will be cut again.
But balancing factors are already in play so a recession scenario remains of very low probability.
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No Sign of Panic, Lower NZD Welcomed
There is no obvious sign of a new deterioration in how businesses are seeing their current operating environment revealed in our monthly BNZ Confidence Survey. In fact although a number of respondents mentioned concerns about developments overseas and dairying remains very weak, far more people noted how the weaker NZ dollar is benefitting their business. These latter comments covered tourism, manufacturing, education, wine, Kiwifruit, advertising, business consultancy, retailing and packaging.
On the housing front there are a few more comments regarding Auckland easing slightly off the boil though remaining fundamentally strong. And movement of buyers to the regions continues apace.
With regard to specific sectors the following broad comments can be made.
Things going steady by and large but at the margin it is clear that a few accountants are starting to see client numbers deteriorating.
Advertising and Marketing
A dominance of comments saying things are quiet.
Business Consultancy and Services
Responses largely positive. No strong signs of clients slashing spending to focus only on short-term cash flows.
Positive comments overall, Auckland strong.
Overall activity may have peaked in many places but the volume of work remains strong.
Good comments regarding the international student market, not so positive on domestic numbers.
Oil and gas very weak.
Positive comments on work expected as a result of the lower NZ dollar. Volumes of work strong overall.
Dairy comments overwhelmingly negative again – unsurprisingly given the fall in the projected payout. Beef good.
Export not strong but domestically still okay. Mixed comments on investment in the sector.
Kiwifruit in a very good state.
ICT – Information Communications Technology
More negative comments than for some time in this sector with redundancies noted in telecommunications.
Busy as ever it seems. Not that I am suggesting it is great for the economy that the lawyers are busy.
Mixed as ever but with an interestingly high number of positive comments regarding the fall in the NZ dollar.
Printing and Packaging
Some growth but not really signalling anything much.
Very strong but it is location-focussed.
Obvious upward pressure on rents.
Property – Non-residential/Commercial
Generally falling yields. Nowhere near enough responses to say anything much, especially about any particular location.
Busy, with good candidates hard to find.
Residential Real Estate
Wellington short of stock with prices rising and buyers increasingly apparent. Auckland slightly coming off the boil with a little caution kicking in, though price pressure remains upward and listings hard to get. Positive comments regarding markets in Hamilton, Northland, Tauranga, Hawkes Bay, Whakatane.
Steady to slightly less than steady. Mixed as ever of course.
Positive overall though maybe not as much in Marlborough.
If the economy were tanking then we would expect one of the first sectors to feel the pain to be vehicle sales. This is not happening.
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