HB economy developing ‘rather well’
Forecast has region ahead of the game
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.”