Weekly Digest – 10 July 2024

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

OCR: Expectations increase for a 2024 rate cut

Economists aren’t expecting much from the Reserve Bank next week – but forecasts are increasingly leaning towards an official cash rate cut before the end of the year.

Is zero-based budgeting a good way to save money in a cost of living crisis?

The crucial thing to know about zero-based budgeting is that every dollar counts – and you have to know where each one is going to go.

Most businesses saw less trading activity in the past three months and expect conditions to worsen in the coming quarter

The New Zealand economy likely contracted in the June quarter as demand weakened and businesses laid off staff, the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) says. A net 28% of firms in NZIER’s quarterly survey of business opinion (QSBO) reported a decline in trading activity during the past three months and 35% predicted conditions would worsen.

Tax toolbox campaign – site visits

From Monday 1 July, the IRD will be visiting construction sites in main centres across New Zealand as part of their ‘Tax toolbox’ campaign.

NZ red meat exports: China demand drops 42% but other markets offer green shoots

North America remained New Zealand’s largest red meat market during May with beef and sheepmeat exports to nearly all major markets increasing year-on-year, according to an analysis by the Meat Industry Association.

New building consents take a tumble

New dwelling consents are down, but the pace of the slowdown seems to be slowing. Stats NZ said the seasonally adjusted number of new dwellings consented in May fell 1.7%, after falling 2.1% in April.

Company insolvencies and liquidations up, 474,000 people now behind on payments

High numbers of company insolvencies and liquidations point to extremely harsh trading conditions in construction, hospitality and retail, an expert says. Data from credit bureau Centrix showed insolvencies jumped to 269 in May – up by more than 100 from the same month last year.

Tariffs removed on key wool and wood products in trade deal

Tariffs have been removed on hundreds of wool and wood products in a “groundbreaking” trade deal with Costa Rica, Iceland, and Switzerland, says Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.

Business sector outgoings higher than income

New Zealand’s non-financial business sector showed a negative saving of $2.5 billion in the March 2024 quarter, according to figures released by Stats NZ today.

Cash still king for many, despite push for card-only payments

In a world of Afterpay, tap and go and online shopping, cash is — surprisingly — still king. Many say they still carry notes and coins in their wallets, and the amount of cash in circulation has almost doubled in the past 10 years.

‘Drain’ leaves NZ’s unemployment higher than Australia

Record numbers of people leaving New Zealand to work in Australia could have a negative affect on the workforce over the medium-term. A report by economic think tank Infometrics shows Australia’s rate of unemployment was lower than New Zealand’s in the first quarter of this year, which was a break from the average rate between 2014 and 2018 when Australia’s rate was 0.7 percentage points higher than New Zealand’s.

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