Already the first quarter is behind us and 2018 is shaping up to be another good year for our economy. Domestic growth remains steady with GDP holding at around 3%, inflation remains historically low at 1.5% and the OCR looking like staying at 1.75% for some time yet. Exports are around 17% up on last year and commodity prices are favourable, however the NZ dollar remains stubbornly above the 70c mark. With unemployment at the lowest level for many years at 4.6%, some members are finding it difficult to find staff.
The new coalition government is six months old and some of the negative business sentiment which began at the end of last year appears to be waning. We have yet to see the true cost of the major initiatives and I suspect when these set in this will have an effect on the economy.
We are pleased to report 2017 reported business burglaries were down 43% on 2016 with more police patrolling in the area and our ANPR cameras directly alerting the Police District Command Centre of stolen vehicles. The number plate recognition cameras have proven to be a very effective crime prevention and resolution tool.
There is a lot of development activity happening at Highbrook currently. At a recent GETBA Business Showcase hosted by Goodman, CEO John Dakin highlighted how sustained economic growth is driving demand for industrial space and vacancy rates are very low. Currently under development are seven build-to-lease warehouses, seven smaller warehouse units, two showroom warehouses, a new commercial building at the Crossing, and Quest Highbrook is also doubling in size above the Waipuna Conference Suites. Highbrook Business Park is now 80% complete and will be 90% complete within two years. This world class development can only be good for the East Tamaki industrial precinct as a whole.
We have made a submission on Auckland Council’s Long Term Plan/10 Year Budget with key messages on Council’s approach to rating and raising funds for infrastructure improvements, and the importance of making internal cost savings and efficiencies. Check out the Advocacy section of the website for the submission in full.
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