Weekly Digest – 10 January 2024

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

Is 2024 the year our inflation problem goes away?

Inflation is likely to ease through 2024 but will probably remain a headache, economists say. The rising cost of living has been a theme of recent years, as inflation hit levels not seen in three decades. Data out this month is expected to show further cooling, but economists say there is still a way to go before the Reserve Bank will be comfortable.

Review, large change of Overseas Investment Act needed

Catherine Beard , BusinessNZ director of advocacy, suggests changes to the OIA are needed, with investment in business a critical issue. Many New Zealand firms would like to gain funds from overseas but can’t because of the Overseas Investment Act (OIA), which makes it difficult for people overseas to invest here. She suggests this law is holding us back and making us poorer.

Big signs NZ cruise industry booming once again

After significant financial losses due to the pandemic, the cruise ship industry is making a comeback and in New Zealand, it’s stronger than ever. This cruise season is shaping up to be the biggest ever, with 360,000 passengers expected to spend $600 million locally.

Kiwis hopeful of economic upswing amidst looming concerns

In contrast to the global outlook, New Zealanders are more optimistic about the future economic climate, according to the latest annual Global Predictions Survey by market research titan, Ipsos. However, a significant 82% of Kiwis expect that prices will escalate more rapidly than incomes in 2024, and two-thirds predict an increase in unemployment in the new year.

Focus on high-spending tourists paying off – Tourism NZ

New Zealand will have to work harder to attract tourists as international travellers tighten their purse strings, a tourism leader says. Tourism New Zealand chief executive René de Monchy said travel was one of the areas people look to cut back on in tougher times, and they would be tracking the impact it had on people’s travel choices. But he remained optimistic that New Zealand could avoid the worst of it, as a niche destination which represented 0.3 percent of global travel volume and 0.8 percent of global travel value.

Auckland business leaders confident heading into new year, but challenges remain

Auckland’s central city business association is calling for a more visible police presence after retailers faced a difficult 2023. Businesses have grappled with increasing costs and rising safety concerns in the central city over the past 12 months but sector leaders say 2024 could be a turning point. Heart of the City chief executive Viv Beck said increased visitation in the city was good news for business.

All tariffs removed from NZ dairy entering China

The removal of tariffs on milk powder means all New Zealand dairy products can now enter China duty-free. This deal was part of the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement, which was first negotiated in 2008.

New Zealanders face paying higher prices over Red Sea shipping threat

Retailing representatives are warning that New Zealand businesses and customers face the prospect of paying higher prices and prolonged delays for goods as the conflict in the Middle East hits global shipping. Local retailers are facing mounting costs as cargo ships are forced to steer new courses to avoid the Suez Canal and Red Sea which forms the main shipping route between Europe and Asia.

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