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Growth seen of 2.6pc

Gisborne’s economy is growing slightly faster than the national economy, a new report indicates.

The latest Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor highlights that almost all regional economies continue to grow, driven by population growth and sustained consumer confidence. However, concerns are growing about future growth, with the Wellington-based economic consultancy expecting a long, slow slowdown over the next few years.

With annual growth of 2.6 percent, Infometrics put Gisborne in the top eight best-performing regional economies for the year ending June 2019. Otago came out on top, notching an annual growth rate of 3.1 percent.

Infometrics senior economist Brad Olsen said Gisborne’s growth was slightly ahead of the national average of 2.5 percent over the year to June 2019, according to provisional estimates by Infometrics.

“It’s a bit harder to figure out the key drivers of this growth back into the national economy as we’re working with a limited number of indicators to estimate this growth, so I wouldn’t want to comment specifically about the contribution to New Zealand at this stage.

“Meat prices remain high, providing support for farmers in the Gisborne region. Forestry prices have dropped back due to an over-supply of logs on Chinese wharves; we expect forestry prices will start to recover by the end of the year. The outlook for China remains a concern, given the level of NZ exports that China takes, with slowing growth in China and the ongoing tariffs by the US constraining global demand.

“Traffic volumes remain strong in Gisborne, up 4.4 percent over the June 2019 year, highlighting continued confidence in the economy.

“Tourism also continues to grow in Gisborne. Gisborne saw the strongest regional growth in tourist guest nights, up 6.1 percent per annum, which combined with the 5.9 percent per annum increase in tourism spending indicates the continued strength in tourism for pockets of the country — even as tourism growth has been generally easing throughout the country.”