Weekly Digest -6 March 2024

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

What’s going on with interest rates?

Why is the Reserve Bank keeping the OCR at its highest level since the global financial crisis of 2007/8? And when can we expect it – and mortgage interest rates – to drop? Economist Bernard Hickey answered these questions and more.

Open ocean salmon farm for Cook Strait given green light

The government has given final approval for the country’s first open ocean salmon farm. New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) confirmed the news in a share market announcement on Friday, but construction could still be years away. It marked the end of a near five-year consent process for the project, known as Blue Endeavour.

Government supports safer digital transactions

The Government supports the recommendations of the Finance and Expenditure Committee reports on bank scam processes, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly says.

ANZ economists think forthcoming data will show more work needs to be done by the Reserve Bank to return inflation to its target

The latest ANZ Business Outlook (ANZBO) Survey certainly “doesn’t suggest the economy is rolling over or that inflation has been beaten”, the ANZ economists say.

NZ needs to work smarter not harder, study finds

Increasing productivity growth by just 1% would unlock tens of billions of dollars in economic value for New Zealand, with gains from the primary sector central to achieving that. That is according to research released by ASB, which also found that businesses, not the government, need to lead that charge.

New Zealand energy bills set to rise as business costs mount

Some New Zealand energy bills will rise from April after power company Mercury announced its prices will rise this year. The lift, prompted by higher business costs, will provide little comfort for households struggling with a cost-of-living crisis as domestic inflation continues to bite.

Public sector wage growth highest on record, driven by nurses, health settlement

Wages in the public sector have had the highest growth on record, largely driven by a recent pay-equity settlement for nurses. The just-released Public Service Commission Labour Cost Index report shows in the year to December, wages grew 5.7 per cent in the public sector.

Bright-line rule change: 58,000 properties could dodge $65,000 tax hit

The Government’s changes to the bright-line test could potentially save close to 60,000 properties on average between $55,000 and $65,000 each in tax. Research from OneRoof’s data partner, Valocity, looked at the number of properties that would benefit from the reduction of the the bright-line period from 10 years to two years.

High interest rates, low sales keep housing market moving sideways

The residential housing market is continuing to move sideways, as mortgage rates remain high and sales volumes stay low.

Waikato suppliers told stop milking as China market dries up

Waikato-based sheep milk company, Maui Milk, has instructed its suppliers to stop milking due to a decrease in demand from China, its primary market.

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