Optimistic outlook for city economy

By Alanah Eriksen, Alanah May Eriksen

Auckland City's economy has risen slightly but sectors such as finance and insurance, property, business and communications have continued to perform solidly.

The 1.1 per cent rise, detailed in the council's yearly business and economy report for the city in the year to March, contrasted with the 0.2 per cent drop in the year to March 2007.

The economy grew by 4.8 per cent in the year ending March 2006, significantly above the national growth rate of 2 per cent.

While the growth constraints of the past year are expected to continue to March 2009, the outlook for the year to March 2010 is more optimistic, with the city's economy forecast to grow by 2.4 per cent compared with a 2.3 per cent national increase.

The report, produced with Infometrics, examines the current state of the economy and its outlook.

It is designed to provide an up-to-date picture of the city's financial drivers and conditions of the business environment.

Councillor Peseta Sam Lotu-liga, chairman of the city development committee, said: "There is no doubt that Auckland City Council can and does play a significant role in shaping the economic environment in the city. While the economy is currently slowing, it is the council's role to keep focused on initiatives that provide a better environment for long term economic growth."

The report talks about the suburb of Rosebank, home to 832 businesses, which Mr Lotu-liga said is a "significant business location".

"In 2006 the council set out a plan for the future of the Rosebank business precinct. The council talked to Rosebank businesses to understand their issues and formulated a dedicated, long-term development plan for the area, unprecedented in New Zealand.

"This is an example of the council's support for new and existing industries across the city and how we want to take the city forward."

Auckland City has 65,655 businesses and 348,500 jobs. This makes up 13.1 per cent and 16.2 per cent of New Zealand's total figures respectively.

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