Zero growth for Hawke's Bay

By PATRICK O'SULLIVAN - BUSINESS EDITOR


ANZ's Composite Index of Economic Activity recorded zero year-on-year growth for Hawke's Bay in the September quarter.

Internet job advertising increased to a 4 year high in the three months to October, to be 15 per cent higher than a year ago, according to the quarterly ANZ Regional Trends report.

Nationally the job numbers advertised increased only 8.9 per cent.

The report noted an increased demand for lower-priced residential properties, with higher-value properties struggling to get offers.

Commercial building permits hit a new monthly low in the month of September and guest nights weakened considerably over the September quarter - down 6 per cent on June and 18 per cent below the level measured a year earlier.

The occupancy rate of accommodation establishments fell to a 12-year low of 30 per cent. The long-term occupancy rate in Hawke's Bay was 35.4 per cent.

The report noted the dichotomy in recent employment statistics, with Hawke's Bay's job numbers up 1.3 per cent from the previous quarter and 3.6 per cent from a year earlier, yet the unemployment rate climbed from 7.2 per cent in June to 8.9 per cent in September - the highest rate that the Bay had recorded since September 1998.

The report said the Canterbury rebuild may have saved the nationwide economy from contraction in the September quarter. The country recorded a 0.1 per cent growth in the September quarter. The North Island recorded a 0.1 per cent drop in activity while the South Island enjoyed a 0.8 per cent increase.

Auckland recorded its first quarterly dip in economic activity in over three years.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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