New Gross Domestic Product figures out this week expected to show quarterly growth of around 0.5% and annual growth of a little over 2%; such figures would be in line with RBNZ expectations

New Gross Domestic Product figures out this week expected to show quarterly growth of around 0.5% and annual growth of a little over 2%; such figures would be in line with RBNZ expectations

Economic growth in this country has likely slipped to its slowest rate in around six years, according to most market estimates.

The Reserve Bank, which cut the Official Cash Rate by 50 basis points last month to a new low of 1% did so in the expectation of slower growth and also in recognition of the turbulent global economic outlook.

The RBNZ is expecting that the official GDP figure being released on Thursday (19th) will show June quarter growth of 0.5%.

Such a rate would drag the annual rate down to around 2%-2.1% (from 2.5% as at March 2019), which would be the slowest rate since the end of 2013.

According to the latest economists' Consensus Forecasts issued by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, future forecasts for GDP have been revised down further, "reflecting expectations of weaker growth across a broad range of sectors".

The NZIER says activity indicators suggest annual GDP growth could slow to around 2%, while annual growth in GDP is now expected to be 2.3% percent for the year to March 2020, before picking up to 2.7% in the subsequent year.  

The NZIER says the further downward revisions in economic growth by economists come is despite an upward revision to the outlook for public consumption through to 2021, reflecting expectations of increased Government spending in the next two years.

"This upward revision was offset by downward revisions across other key areas of the New Zealand economy, with expectations of weaker growth in household spending, investment and exports over the next two years. With the trade war between the US and China far from resolved, the heightened uncertainty is expected to weigh on export demand," NZIER said.

In terms of the GDP figures for June, being released on Thursday, ASB senior economist Jane Turner is expecting 0.5% for the quarter and 2.1% as the annual figure.

"NZ economic growth remained sub-trend over [the first half of] 2019 and ongoing weakness in business confidence suggests growth is likely to remain weak over [the second half of] 2019 as well. 

Turner said the RBNZ's August OCR decision had a fair degree of ‘bad’ economic news already "baked into" the underlying economic forecasts.

"...So it would take a material surprise on GDP to prompt the RBNZ to cut the Official Cash Rate (OCR) again at the September meeting.  But we continue to expect another 25bp OCR cut, possibly at the November Monetary Policy Statement."

'Weak activity in primary and goods production'

For the second quarter Turner was expecting to see weak activity in primary and goods production, but for the services sector to record reasonable rates of growth. 

"Going forward, the outlook for the economy rests on the resilience of the labour market and NZ households’ willingness/ability to spend on goods and services.

"Business confidence has fallen over the past year, with weaker activity, rising costs and squeezed profit margins creating a challenging environment. Businesses have responded by holding back on investment plans over the past year which has weighed directly on growth.

"The ASB Recession Probability Model points to a 30% chance of a recession starting in Q2 2019. Fortunately, despite weak business confidence, hiring has continued and the labour market has remained strong. This source of strength has likely kept the economy away from recession for now and we will be watching measures of consumer confidence and labour market data very closely from here."

ANZ senior economist Miles Workman also sees the services sector as a bright spot in the latest GDP figures. ANZ's forecasting a 0.4% quarterly figure, and 2% annual growth.

"Stepping back, economic momentum has been running out of puff for a while now. Forward-looking indicators suggest this process has continued into Q3, which, alongside a softening pipeline for construction activity, some worrying signals for employment growth, a persistently pessimistic business sector, and an increasingly fragile global backdrop, means the medium-term outlook is looking less assured," he said.

The ANZ economists are reviewing their medium term forecasts at the moment and will be updating them next week.

'There are supports out there'

"That said, despite all the negative developments in recent months, we’re still of the view that there will be enough supports out there to eventually put a floor under the slowdown and prevent growth from rolling over."

In terms of the detail likely in Thursday's GDP figures, Workman said key partial GDP indicators had come in "on the softer side", with retail sales volumes growing just 0.2% q/q, the volume of work put in place falling 1.5% q/q, and total manufacturing volumes down 2.7% q/q, led by an 8.2% decline in meat and dairy.

"Accordingly, goods production is expected to contract 0.9% q/q (a drag of 0.2%pts on headline growth) following Q1’s impressive 2% lift. Manufacturing and construction are both set to contract, with risks skewed to the downside of our expectation.

"Primary industries are expected to make only a small positive contribution to headline growth (0.1%pts), with seasonally adjusted milksolids production partially rebounding from Q1.

"However, saving the day, we are expecting a rebound in growth in services industries (a little more than two thirds of the economy) from Q1’s very weak print of just 0.2% q/q. We’ve pencilled in a 0.7% q/q lift, making a 0.5%pt contribution to GDP growth. This middling kind of rate represents a technical bounce amidst a continued loss of momentum. But there is a risk that the bounce is a little stronger than we expect."

Westpac economists are at the upper end of forecasts, picking 0.6% quarterly GDP growth.

While we’re expecting growth to be no faster than it was in the previous quarter, the breakdown of our forecast is a little more encouraging," Westpac senior economist Michael Gordon said.

Service sectors 'in better shape'

"In particular, the services sectors are looking in better shape, with an expected gain of 0.8% in the June quarter after a weak 0.2% rise in the March quarter. Not only are services a major part of the economy – making up around 70% of GDP – their performance tends to be more persistent, and less subject to one-off factors.

"Business and personal services are expected to make the biggest contributions to growth in the June quarter. We also expect solid gains in financial services, wholesale trade, transport and government services. Not all services sectors fared so well, however, with retail spending rising by just 0.2% for the quarter. We put at least some of this down to the cooling housing market, which has weighed on households’ wealth and hence their willingness to spend."

Gordon is expecting a boost for the agricultural sector, led by a 4% rise in dairy production. While the June quarter is normally a lull in the dairying season, milk collections were up in seasonally adjusted terms compared to the March quarter.

He said the sectors with the biggest expected declines in the June quarter are all coming off sharp gains in the previous quarter. He expects a 2.6% drop in food manufacturing after a 3.8% rise last quarter, due to volatility in fruit, beverage, and meat processing. Mining was boosted in the March quarter by exploratory drilling, which ended without success, he said. And the construction couldn’t quite maintain its previous level of activity after a 3.7% surge in the March quarter.

"We expect GDP growth to remain subdued in the second half of this year. While there is already substantial monetary and fiscal stimulus in place, we think it will take some time for this to have an impact on households’ willingness to spend."

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"We expect GDP growth to remain subdued in the second half of this year. While there is already substantial monetary and fiscal stimulus in place, we think it will take some time for this to have an impact on households’ willingness to spend."

Oh!!! - because, they will have a propensity to pay down liabilities and save disposable income, while those around them undertake emergency moneyless monetary policy decisions which impact one form of household wellbeing directly, but not much else.

At least a lot of people don't have big mortgages to pay off or anything. Can't imagine where an unwillingness to spend more come from.

I agree. We are headed for recession territory and that is where we need to go if we are going to contribute to addressing climate change.

I suspect you will find that victims of a recession don't care so much about saving the planet while they are trying to find work to put food on the table.


Read the first quote - and weep.

You don't have to wait for a recession, just make them have to pay twice as much for housing as they need to, and all the other secondary expenses poor quality housing incurs.

Yes:RBNZ had this to say:

The proportion of risky borrowers in the household and dairy sectors appears relatively high. Around two-thirds of households have no mortgage debt, but nearly 40 percent of new mortgage loans are to borrowers with DTI ratios above five. In the dairy sector, 35 percent of debt is to highly indebted farms, defined as farms with more than $35 of debt per kilogram of milk solids produced annually. However, less than5 percent of loans to the commercial property sector are to particularly risky borrowers,1 suggesting debt is fairly evenly distributed across the sector.

Moreover, the households with mortgages DTI(disposable) ratio increased marginally to a record high of ~320 percent at the end of 2018

And yet the RBA claims:

In aggregate, Australian households benefit from the effect of lower interest rates. While the income of households with deposits is lower than if rates had not been reduced, the household sector as a whole has around twice as much debt as deposits.

Which begs the question, who claims the liabilities offsetting household debt (bank assets) that are not claimed by households?

"Around two-thirds of households have no mortgage debt" Given that 1/3 of households rent and therefore have no mortgage debt, we are left with 1/3 with no mortgage, probably retirees, which leaves 1/3 exposed. Hmmmm

And the households that have no mortgage debt due to being renters ignores the possibility (probability) of that house having debt attached to it.. and stacked on top of the debt of one of the other debt carrying households.

So the real figure we need is the number of houses, and the number of houses that appear somewhere on a mortgage document as security.

There are a number of property investors who have undertaken equity recycling techniques, to use as deposits to purchase investment property. Some own portfolios of 10-20 investment properties.

I also hear that some are approaching the end of their interest only periods and may be required to go on P&I payments, which may put them into cashflow stress. When these mortgages were being taken out during the period of rapidly rising prices, these investors expected to extend the interest only period, however the credit environment has changed dramatically since then.

CN, interest only is the only way to go for positively geared investors.
We have in excess of your 20 properties you labelled and we are still able to rollover interest only loans with our Bank.
Reality is that the investors with equity and servicing are sitting pretty at the moment in regards to investing.
The ones on here that think that being a landlord doesn’t take much brain matter should be seriously be thinking about landlording

Stuff reported last week that ASB were forecasting 0.3-0.4% GDP with substantial risk it could be even lower. Now their chief economist is saying 0.5%. Stuff mis-reporting or a change in heart at ASB?

If you count in entropy, it's already below zero - and that's for a count which avoids mentioning depletion.

you can see it coming,
working in an industry that feels it first not just in NZ, a lot of companies already have a do not replace policy in place and some are already moved to downsizing.
I will not be surprised to see NZ go into recession over the next couple of quarters

Which industry sharetrader?
I am in urban development-related work, there's definitely less happening at the front end.

I work with a major durable goods manufacturing and importing company in NZ and things are turning grey rapidly in our future outlook.
Cost pressures are huge but price increases given current household/business investment trends are beyond question. We might be forced to cut costs by downsizing operations if things don't improve.

I think that's common across many areas of the economy. It's a big factor in residential development and construction.

Would be interesting to hear from anyone whose industry has remained steady or even picked up.

Manufacturer/Supplier for 3 Waters Infrastructure, mainly via Local Government tenders. We've picked up big time this year, essentially a doubling to manufacturing output. Which is probably not a good thing in the bigger picture (assuming we haven't just gained market share), given our product precedes the putting in of roads and houses and stuff so there's potential for much more supply of housing yet to come onto an already saturated market.

Economic growth is only good if its sustainable.

Exponential lending on housing is not one of them. It seems much of this was driven by commission snake oil salespeople, who disappear when the train wreck arrives. Can you imagine the parties Jonkey had with David Hisco at the bach at Omaha now? Can't see that happening anymore, could we.

Whats wrong with slow sustainable growth? Who needs money manipulators and margin traders!!

What happened to you GS? You wanted to meet me last week but you never turned up?

You never gave your address.

Happy to meet, in between advising clients to avoid dealing with these snake oil sails people. Not interested if you're one of them?

Slow growth ends like fast growth, it just takes longer to end.

There is no such thing as sustainable growth - unless the subject be 100% virtual.

*Rolls eyes* What PDK said. Thought I'd check if he'd contributed before I did. He is right

Let's hope Trump doesn't pull the trigger on Iran. If the USA strikes, it's hard not to see Iran retaliating.
Could be horrid for the people of the Middle East. And could be nasty for oil prices and economic stability.
We might still get stagflation if oil prices soar.

The Americans are well-aware that over the course of a century, war has unfailingly stimulated their economy and restated their military domination in every region of the world.

That being said Trump is more likely to play devil's advocate against Iran to avoid confrontation with Iran's main ally, Russia.

It's a bit precarious. Russia being a major Iranian ally is certainly a deterrence. Could they get away with surgical, precision strikes against Iran? I doubt it. Strikes of any sort will prompt Iranian retaliation.

He's looking for someone to pull the trigger on, so he try to elevate himself from zero to hero. I'd advise him to have heart attack or completely lose his mind, at least that way he can bow out with something resembling sympathy.

China has signed with Iran, both the US and China need the oil. Russia won't side with the US. I think the US (and by association, us) is going to have EROEI problems: too much energy required (militarily) to keep control of the energy she needs. I think there will be war, but I'm not sure this turkey has the cohones to actually press the trigger. Hence the departure of the most focused hawk.

And I agree with whoever reckoned above, that this is going to impact global economies - it will probably tip them over the edge. Interesting that it was so predictable (and predicted :) a decade ago.

Maybe it is us who should be called lemmings, after all, it seems to be us that actually does what the myth says lemmings do

Another builder / developer in strife.
Will be more to follow.

Good old capitalism's race to the bottom

this chart tells an ugly picture
More recent data for individual ports and airports suggests growth will slow further and turn negative in May and June. Most historical proxies for trade suggest volumes will stay flat or fall in the second half of the year.

Are the Drones the Black Swans that are going to set the world/Middle East ablaze and start the next GFC ?

So if ECONOMIC GROWTH is set to fall ............. why on earth have we today heard that inward migration is about to be made 'easier "?

Because more is always better. Always.