Welcome to the March edition of our newsletter.
Whanganui’s economy continues to track steady we have a number of events all worth attending this month check them out.
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- Treasury reports that key economic data released in February suggest positive momentum from the December quarter continued to the end of 2015, although at a slightly slower pace.
- NZ property market -7,291 dwellings sold in New Zealand in February 2016, up 44.4% on January and up 5.7% on February 2015. This is the highest number of sales in February for nine years.
- Retail card sales for New Zealand have shown slightly slower growth for the same period last year the with only accommodation and takeaways over the 5% growth level compared to the previous year .
- New Vehicle sales in New Zealand have continued to grow and in recent months the 12 month moving average growth has increased at a slower rate..
- Our traffic light system gives a snapshot of the current economy. In January the trend has remained stable with indications of growth still the dominant factor although at a slower rate.
- Whanganui’s economy:- very encouraging house sales volumes with a 44% growth in sales volumes sales of new vehicles still picking up slightly, buildingconsents have remained steady to flat caused by is a fair amount stock of buildings in the commercial, industrial and residential markets. Electronic Card sales were still buoyant. The number of bed nights has been down on a month on month basis but still the 12 month figure is up on last year we attribute this in part to the recovery from the severe weather event of June 2015
- Whanganui District Council are inviting expressions of interest from suitably experienced agents for the marketing and sale of four forestry blocks.
- The Whanganui District Council invites proposals from suitable Earthworks and Civil Engineering Contractors to tender for the Quarrying Services Contract 1698.
Happening in Whanganui…
- A must attend Business Forum – John Jung is an award-winning urban planner, urban designer, economic developer, author, global urban navigator and speaker on planning, development, urban design and economic development related issues, especially related to “smart cities” and “intelligent communities”.
- Join experts in market research and planning, FORWARD Insight & Strategy and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for a free four-hour interactive workshop for tourism operators in your region, and tap into the growing value of the China visitor market.
- You are invited to the launch of the Whanganui international education strategy to be held at UCOL on the 19th April.
- How do you turn that great business idea into reality? Adam from Liftoff will speak about what should be in a good business plan, the type of support you should look for and especially options to raise start-up funding. Liftoff is New Zealand’s only Crowdfunding platform that works with local specialists like Whanganui and Partners to wrap full support around a budding entrepreneur.
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New Zealand Economy
- Real GDP grew by a stronger than expected 0.9% in the December quarter. Growth strengthened markedly in the second half of 2015.
- Growth is expected to moderate in the first half of 2016, as subdued farm incomes weigh on business investment.
- Lower terms of trade and low inflation dampened nominal GDP, and the terms of trade may fall further as dairy prices declined in early 2016.
- The annual current account deficit narrowed on the back of growth in export services.
The economy expanded by a stronger-than-expected 0.9% in the December quarter 2015, the same pace of growth as in the September quarter, following 0.3% growth in both the March and June quarters. Growth was driven by increases in private consumption and residential investment, reflecting record net migration inflows and an expansion in residential construction in Auckland. In addition, continued elevated tourist arrivals following their earlier surge also supported the level of GDP.
Growth is expected to moderate to around 0.6% a quarter in the first half of 2016 as business investment and exports are expected to be subdued. Business fixed investment is expected to slow owing to lower farm incomes, which reflected a fall in dairy prices. In addition, the earlier high livestock slaughter may weigh on agricultural production and exports in coming quarters. However, the growth outlook remains solid, supported by high population growth, residential investment led by Auckland and low interest rates.
Read the full report here….
NZ House sales (Top)
First Home Buyers Active Over Summer Break.
- 7,291 dwellings sold in New Zealand in February 2016, up 44.4% on January and up 5.7% on February 2015. This is the highest number of sales in February for nine years.
- On a seasonally adjusted basis the number of dwellings sold fell by 1.67% compared to January.
- National median price of $450,000, up $20,000 (+4.7%) on February 2015 and up 0.4% on January
- New record national median prices in Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Nelson/Marlborough and ‘New Zealand excluding Auckland’.
- A 17% rise in the number of sales over $1 million between February 2016 and February 2015 — from 577 to 675
- 20,093 dwellings sold by auction in the 12 months to February 2016, representing 22.1% of all sales, an increase of 43% in the number sold by auction in the 12 months to February 2015.
Read the Full report here…
NZ Retail Card Spend (Top)
The slower growth in retail card spend continued in February with only accommodation and takeaways over the 5% growth level compared to the previous year . Fuel sales have remained in negative territory which continues to significantly to lower inflation.
Top Categories were takeaways, bars cafes and restaurants and accommodation which is the same as January 2016.
NZ New Vehicle Sales (Top)
New Vehicle sales in New Zealand have continued to grow and in recent months the 12 month moving average growth has however continued to increased at a slower rate. In February 2015 a total of 7057 new cars were sold and in February 2016 the figure was down to 7 191 a small increase of 0.1%. The slowing growth since October has continuesd.
House sales have lead the way in the local economy with yet again good sales recorded once again the local indicators we monitor are still showing positive growth which is good for Whanganui.
Whanganui and Region House sales (Top)
Sales volumes rose 41% compared to January, with sales rising 44% in Palmerston North, 44% in Wanganui and 37% in Feilding. Compared to February 2015 sales volumes rose 19%, with sales rising 44% in Manawatu Country and Wanganui, 21% in Levin and 10% in Palmerston North.
The median price across the region rose $18,000 (+8%) compared to January with prices rising 9% in Levin and 1% in Palmerston North. Compared to February 2015 the median price rose $6,000 (+3%), with prices rising 8% in Wanganui and 1% in Palmerston North.
The number of days to sell was steady at 44 days in February compared to January. Compared to February 2015 the number of days to sell improved by 21 days (3 weeks). Over the past 10 years the median number of days to sell across the Manawatu/Wanganui region in February has averaged 56 days.
Whanganui Card Spend(Top)
The top category this month was Appliances with Bars cafes and restaurants still showing continued growth.
Top 3 sectors were
- Hardware and Homeware
- Bars cafes and restaurants
The bottom three sectors were
- Apparel (flat and affected by changed market dynamics)
- Fuel (Lower pump prices- which in efect is a positive)
- Furniture and Flooring
Card spend comparison by region monthly growth over previous year
Source Market View
Card spend comparison by region month growth over previous year
Card spend comparison by region monthly growth over previous year dollar value of goods purchased February 2016
Whanganui had better year on year electronic card sales than most of the TLA’s in the Manawatu Whanganui Region and still above the New Zealand Spend by 0.4%
Source Market View
Whanganui New Vehicle Sales (Top)
In January 2016 new vehicle sales were up on the previous year again with 62 new vehicles sold as opposed to 43 sold in the previous year pushing the moving average growth further up to 2.6% there are large fluctuations in sales from month to month but the overall trend is still in positive territory. The trend over the longer term still remains positive in spite of the erratic nature of sales in this sector.
Building Consents – Whanganui (Top)
In February 2016 there were 49 Building Consent applications. Based on a 12 month moving average we have seen a very slight improvement in number of consents passed with the value of consents indicating decline. The 12 month average value of building consents has stabilised at around $4.5 million.
Source Wanganui District Council
In 12 months to January 2016 guest nights were up by 4.9 % which still indicates growth for the 12 month period however there was a decline in October with signs of recovery in following months. Backpackers and Motels have improved and in Jan 2016 were similar to the 2 previous years. We do not have access to the same information on Hotels and Holiday parks due to the low number of establishments and confidentiality concerns Tourism NZ suppress these figures.