HB econ­omy de­vel­op­ing ‘rather well’

Fore­cast has re­gion ahead of the game

Hawke's Bay Today - - Local News - An­drew Ash­ton an­drew.ash­ton@hbto­day.co.nz

Hawke’s Bay’s re­gional econ­omy should ex­pand dur­ing the next year, with a new re­port from Ki­wiBank rat­ing the re­gional econ­omy as a hawk­ish “7 out of 10”.

An eco­nomic fore­cast re­port into the per­for­mance of New Zealand’s prov­inces said the na­tional econ­omy was ex­pected to “grow above trend” next year, adding that the economies of re­gional New Zealand, in­clud­ing Hawke’s Bay, were “de­vel­op­ing rather well”.

The re­port noted that Hawke’s Bay’s re­gional hous­ing mar­ket was “run­ning at a de­cent clip”, with the re­gional hous­ing mar­ket one of the na­tion’s “hot” ar­eas.

In­vestors in the hous­ing mar­ket were also get­ting higher yields in Hawke’s Bay than in many other re­gions.

“The main con­cern we heard on the road was around the sup­ply of labour, the abil­ity to find the right peo­ple and threats to mi­gra­tion pol­icy,” Ki­wiBank chief econ­o­mist Jar­rod Kerr said.

The rise of the min­i­mum wage was also a “secondary” con­cern, with many small busi­nesses ex­press­ing doubts over their abil­ity to pass on higher wage bills.

“Un­cer­tainty around po­lit­i­cal poli­cies plague con­fi­dence but many busi­nesses face grow­ing pains, rather than con­trac­tions.”

While the re­gion’s econ­omy scored a 7 over­all, the re­port noted it “felt” more like an 8.

“We take a look at the re­gional in­di­ca­tors and over­lay some feel­good (or not-so-good) fac­tors.

“We use hard data to gen­er­ate an ‘eco­nomic score’, and anec­dotes to give a ‘ feels like’ fac­tor.”

Last month Kerr vis­ited Hawke’s Bay, in prepa­ra­tion for the new re­port, where he noted the re­gion as be­ing a stand out per­former and one of the most “up­beat” in New Zealand.

Ki­wiBank re­gional man­ager Garth Dun­can said the re­gion’s econ­omy was in a “hawk­ish” mood.

“Tourism re­mains strong, with mo­tel oc­cu­pancy rates high,” he said.

“The ap­ple in­dus­try re­mains strong, with large play­ers climb­ing over each other to lease/se­cure longterm sup­ply.

“High Street re­tail ap­pears tough but should en­joy a boost in Napier from sea­sonal cruise ship vis­its.”

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