Bay of Plenty bucking trends in latest Quarterly Economic Monitor

The Bay of Plenty’s economic outlook is largely positive, with the region performing strongly on the majority of indicators – when analysed as a whole.

Infometrics’ latest Quarterly Economic Monitor shows Bay of Plenty’s GDP grew 6.6 per cent per annum in the year to March 2022 – a strong result compared to national growth of 5.2 per cent.

Consumer and tourism spending contributed to this growth, with total consumer spending up 8.3 per cent.

A strong economy also supported a robust labour market, with the number of residents employed growing 4 per cent to 143,000.

Unemployment remains low at 4.2 per cent, though this is still higher than the New Zealand rate of 3.4 per cent.

New Zealanders continue to view the Bay of Plenty as a desirable place to live, as evidenced by the increase in health enrolments – up 1.6 per cent in the March year.

However, this strong population growth is likely contributing to the ongoing pressure on housing stock, with house values up 25.2 per cent, and the average value topping $1.02m for the combined region.
This may partly explain the 12 per cent drop in house sales in the year to March.

Construction activity remains at high levels across the region, however growth has slowed, with residential consents increasing 12.2 per cent and non-residential consents falling 9.8 per cent in the March year.

While it’s important to recognise the differing factors influencing the economic performance of the constituent parts of the Bay of Plenty, the overarching data is useful in determining significant challenges and opportunities for the whole region.

Overall, the latest Infometrics data highlights the Bay of Plenty’s economic resilience and stability and suggests the region continues to make steady gains as it builds back from initial COVID-19 impacts.

The opportunity to welcome back international manuhiri from July, and particularly the recent announcement cruise ships will return from as early as October, will be a significant milestone for many in our business and tourism communities and will have flow-on effects to other sectors.