QEM: Regional economic performance a mixed bag

The economic performance of the wider Bay of Plenty was a mixed bag in the last quarter of 2022, with indicators such as regional GDP, employment and consumer spending experiencing growth, while building consents and house values slipped.

The latest Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor, released this week, shows GDP grew 3.4 per cent in the Bay of Plenty region in the year to December 2022.

This economic growth was largely driven by the region’s services industries, particularly transport, professional services, and healthcare.

The rohe also had strong consumer spending, increasing 7.3 per cent in the same period.

Bay of Plenty’s busy economy led to a strong labour market, with employment in the region up 2.6 per cent compared to the year ended December 2021.

However, the wider region also saw construction activity soften in the year to December, with both commercial and residential building consents falling 18.7 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.

The 2022 Regional Economic Profile highlighted the importance of construction to the wider Bay of Plenty economy, with the construction industry comprising 8.3 per cent of GDP in the March 2022 year, the third largest industry in the region.

In line with the national housing market downturn, house values and sales for the region were both down on the previous year, dropping 5.2 per cent and 27.1 per cent respectively.

The dairy pay-out for Bay of Plenty is expected to decline by $49 million for the 2022/23 season.

The contribution of dairy farming to the regional economy was estimated in the 2022 Regional Economic Profile to be $370m.

Dairy and horticulture exports remained key to economic activity in Bay of Plenty, valued at 17 per cent and 33 per cent of total exports in the March 2022 year.