A stellar economy is the way our leading economists describe the NZ economy in 2014, and certainly many leading indicators all point in the right direction. GDP is nudging 4%, the Terms of Trade are the highest since 1973, we have a Christchurch rebuild, and Auckland catch-up house construction. In addition, there is accelerating world growth, and net migration is now over 20,000 p.a, with business and consumer spending on the rise. The only dampener is that interest rates are on the rise and likely to result in the OCR being 5% by the end of 2015.
The high exchange rate remains an issue for many exporters, and unfortunately it is likely to remain high for an indefinite period, with the interest rate rise being part of the problem.
However it is good to see the government will in the coming budget provide $69 million funding to NZTE over the next four years to assist exporters break into the growing markets of China, South America and the Middle East. According to BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly this will enable them to raise the number of exporters that they work intensively with from 500 to 700.
We have a very wide variety of businesses in GETBA and most are seeing a lift in activity, with a positive outlook ahead, something we haven’t seen in recent years. Being an election year certainly helps too.
At GETBA we have a very busy calendar for 2014. In addition to our regular programme of informative events, forums and seminars, we have our first East Tamaki Business Connections EXPO on the 15th and 16th of May at Waipuna Conference Suites Highbrook. Make the most of this opportunity to either take a stand and raise the profile of your business, or come along and see the range of innovative local businesses on show. There will also be free seminars on topical subjects running alongside the EXPO.
We have been very busy with submissions on the annual plan and the all-important and very large Unitary Plan. Our input and comments are from the business perspective, one being the need for sufficient industrial land to service the needs of Auckland in decades to come. The East/West link consultations are continuing. Action is required now to solve the costly congestion problems occurring across the city on a daily basis.
As always, GETBA’s website getba.org.nz is the place to go for what’s happening and regular updates on such changes, so please visit this regularly.