The Auckland economy: situation and forecast, November 2009
BERL and the Institute of Public Policy at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) have combined to pull together an economic forecast for the Auckland region economy. Latest employment data released last week confirm that the much-heralded end of the recession remains little more than a technicality. This is as true for the Auckland economy as it is for its national counterpart. The net 13,000 jobs shed from the Auckland economy over the past year mean annual employment contracted by nearly 3 percent over that period. Looking ahead, hopes of an export-led recovery for the New Zealand economy have been dashed by an exchange rate that defies any rational assessment of the fundamentals. Consequently, the short-term outlook for the Auckland economy is best described as unstable. Clearly, the next few months will be better than the first half of 2009, but there will be little to celebrate. We forecast: a sombre export picture for manufacturing; modest, at best, employment growth; a subdued outlook for retail trade; import growth slightly above national; net inward migration gains; moderate house price growth; growth in house building activity; guest nights treading water.