Weekly Digest – 17 April 2024

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

What is happening with the NZ housing market this week?

Policy changes, a steady OCR rate, low construction costs, and the high cost of home ownership are all impacting the housing market. Here’s what moved real estate this week.

IRD to target 40,000 businesses over taxes

Inland Revenue is giving those in the construction industry a last chance warning to pay their taxes or it will identify them and take action. Inland Revenue says it is owed close to $900 million by those in the construction sector, which represents about a sixth of the total outstanding tax debt.

Rental overhaul confirmed – here’s what will change

The Government is reintroducing 90-day no-cause evictions and making several changes to notice period laws in a move meant to “encourage landlords back to the rental property market”.  Housing Minister Chris Bishop announced the suite of changes to the Residential Tenancies Act on Thursday.

Official Cash Rate (OCR) decision: No change, ‘very high threshold’ needed to justify hike

The Reserve Bank has unveiled its next move in the fight against inflation. Persistent inflation was cited as the main reason for keeping the official cash rate (OCR) at 5.5 per cent. The announcement will surprise few people – but the central bank also suggested monetary policy was working and would get New Zealand back into its desired inflation zone of 1 to 3 per cent this year.

Households, businesses facing tough economic times – survey

A cold patch has settled over the economy, according to a survey by Westpac. The bank’s latest round-up showed all regional economies frosty, cold or cool, with households and businesses describing conditions as tough.

Tough times for retail continue as spending falls further in March

Retail spending by Kiwis fell 0.7 per cent, or $45 million, in March when compared with February, Stats NZ said today. This follows a 2 per cent decline in the previous month.

Migration flows symptomatic of our economic problems

The unprecedented migration surge since mid-2022 has seen a net 110,000 working-age people added to the population during the last 12 months. This outcome is a flow-on effect from the labour market disruption caused by the borders being shut during Covid-19.  Having rectified the imbalances caused by the pandemic, the focus must now shift to what medium-term goals immigration policy is trying to achieve, and what is a sustainable level of immigration.

Wool keratin-based pigment attracts international interest

Products made from New Zealand’s strong wool clip are set to colour the world. There has been a significant technological breakthrough in researchers’ ability to turn strong wool fibre into small particles that could replace oil-based ones in products like inks and dyes.

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