Truckometer index shows shift in gear

By Brian Fallow

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

ANZ's Truckometer is pointing to the economy having pulled out of its soft patch in the September quarter.

The heavy traffic index, strongly linked to contemporaneous economic activity, rose 1.4 per cent last month, on top of a 4.4 per cent increase in October.

"It suggests the trend decline has stopped and supports ANZ's view that the September quarter was a pothole and not a deep ditch," ANZ economist Sharon Zollner said.

The heavy traffic index suggested a negative September quarter gross domestic product out-turn is possible when it is reported next week.

"But the stronger results in October and November suggested a considerably better December quarter may be in prospect."

The light traffic index, which tracks car movements, also rose - 0.7 per cent on top of a 1.7 per cent rise in October.

Zollner said the trend in that index suggested fairly tepid economic momentum in the second half of 2012 and into next year.

She noted, however, that traffic data could not be expected to pick up the rebuilding of Christchurch.

However, she said anecdotal evidence and, increasingly, regional data indicated the rebuilding was starting to really kick into gear.

- NZ Herald

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