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Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor

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Bay of Plenty economic activity has outstripped the national figure in the year to September, highlighting the region’s overall relative strength compared to the rest of the country.

According to the latest provisional estimates in the Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor, activity grew 5.8 per cent in the Bay of Plenty, compared with 3.7 per cent nationally.

However, the impact of COVID and related lockdowns on a number of sectors remains clear, with economic activity in the September quarter sitting down 2.7 per cent on the same period last year.

The majority of indicators have seen positive growth, including a 7 per cent increase in consumer spending, a 29.1 per cent and 48.4 per cent increase in residential and non-residential consents respectively, and 2 per cent growth in employment.

The Bay of Plenty has outperformed national figures in every indicator, with the exception of house sales, which grew 8.4 per cent compared to 21.6 per cent nationally.

Bay of Connections, while pleased with the overall positive outlook, acknowledges these figures represent an aggregation of Bay of Plenty data (regional council boundary) and that there are areas in our region facing greater impacts from COVID than others.

Infometrics Principal Economist Brad Olsen described the economic outcomes as “solid”, and pointed out a strong six-week period leading up to the Delta lockdown helped soften the economic blow.

“The Delta lockdown and extended economic restrictions in Auckland dragged economic activity in the September quarter lower.

“The economy has started to bounce back from the Level 4 hit, but this bounce is more subdued than after the original lockdown.

“Although the supply of goods and services has been constrained, demand continues to be strong, causing rising inflationary pressures and intense labour market tightness that will persist into 2022, with the New Zealand economy still showing resilience in the face of the pandemic.”

Mr Olsen also said the Bay of Plenty’s strength has been driven by strong agricultural sector activity, which was able to continue through lockdowns.

“The dairy pay-out for the 2021/22 season is estimated to be $98 million higher than the previous season, giving a very significant injection to the local economy.”

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Thursday, November 18, 2021

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