Gisborne’s slide in ASB list ‘temporary’

Local business disagrees with economic ranking.

Local business disagrees with economic ranking.

Business experts here are confident the region’s economy is buoyant, saying a big drop in the region’s economic ranking is just a blip.

The latest ASB regional economic scoreboard puts Gisborne’s economy as one of the worst performing in New Zealand, after slumps in several main industries over the December quarter.

Gisborne slid down the rankings (from sixth in the previous quarter) to 14th in the latest scoreboard.

“Accordingly, we take the region down to a two-star rating,” ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said.

“The outlook for construction was the main soft spot for Gisborne, with a 23 percent fall in building consents issued in the December quarter versus December 2017. However, we are somewhat surprised by Gisborne’s overall decline, with the region’s key industries in relatively good shape.

“With this in mind, we’ll keep a close eye on next quarter’s result to see if this quarter was a temporary blip.”

Over the quarter retail performed well bringing in $156m to the region — a rise of 4.6 percent. Similarly, house prices rose 8.5 percent.

However, on the downside, construction values dropped by $5m on the same time the previous year, while new car sales plummeted to $279m — a drop of 18 percent.

Gisborne’s share of the national economy remained unchanged at 0.7 percent.

Neighbouring Hawke’s Bay was named the nation’s top performer out of the 16 regional economies.

Gisborne Chamber of Commerce chief executive Terry Sheldrake put the drop down to a temporary glitch.

“I’m somewhat surprised that the ASB report is so negative with such a drop. From the chamber’s perspective, across all business, the vibe at this present time is quite strong hence I would predict that this is a temporary glitch position”

Activate Tairawhiti general manager economic development Steve Breen agreed.

“The region is in good economic stead, with a drop in building consent levels contributing to a current dip in Tairawhiti Gisborne’s regional economic scorecard, rather than an overall downturn.

“There is a shortage of housing stock, both rental and to purchase, as evidenced by waiting lists and an increase in housing prices. We are working with Gisborne District Council to help address the housing shortage both immediately and in the long term. However, in saying that there is further evidence that suggests we are quite buoyant.

“For example, 400-600 jobs available today in the region, a clear upswing in tourism activity and spend, strong log prices and good growing conditions for our primary industry.”

Mr Breen said that was also backed up by local investments like the increased activity at Prime Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence, construction at the new airport terminal, the Navigations infrastructure rollout and the supporting Provincial Growth Fund investment into roading.

“All of these things will extend economic activity as their work programmes get under way.”

Business experts here are confident the region’s economy is buoyant, saying a big drop in the region’s economic ranking is just a blip.

The latest ASB regional economic scoreboard puts Gisborne’s economy as one of the worst performing in New Zealand, after slumps in several main industries over the December quarter.

Gisborne slid down the rankings (from sixth in the previous quarter) to 14th in the latest scoreboard.

“Accordingly, we take the region down to a two-star rating,” ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said.

“The outlook for construction was the main soft spot for Gisborne, with a 23 percent fall in building consents issued in the December quarter versus December 2017. However, we are somewhat surprised by Gisborne’s overall decline, with the region’s key industries in relatively good shape.

“With this in mind, we’ll keep a close eye on next quarter’s result to see if this quarter was a temporary blip.”

Over the quarter retail performed well bringing in $156m to the region — a rise of 4.6 percent. Similarly, house prices rose 8.5 percent.

However, on the downside, construction values dropped by $5m on the same time the previous year, while new car sales plummeted to $279m — a drop of 18 percent.

Gisborne’s share of the national economy remained unchanged at 0.7 percent.

Neighbouring Hawke’s Bay was named the nation’s top performer out of the 16 regional economies.

Gisborne Chamber of Commerce chief executive Terry Sheldrake put the drop down to a temporary glitch.

“I’m somewhat surprised that the ASB report is so negative with such a drop. From the chamber’s perspective, across all business, the vibe at this present time is quite strong hence I would predict that this is a temporary glitch position”

Activate Tairawhiti general manager economic development Steve Breen agreed.

“The region is in good economic stead, with a drop in building consent levels contributing to a current dip in Tairawhiti Gisborne’s regional economic scorecard, rather than an overall downturn.

“There is a shortage of housing stock, both rental and to purchase, as evidenced by waiting lists and an increase in housing prices. We are working with Gisborne District Council to help address the housing shortage both immediately and in the long term. However, in saying that there is further evidence that suggests we are quite buoyant.

“For example, 400-600 jobs available today in the region, a clear upswing in tourism activity and spend, strong log prices and good growing conditions for our primary industry.”

Mr Breen said that was also backed up by local investments like the increased activity at Prime Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence, construction at the new airport terminal, the Navigations infrastructure rollout and the supporting Provincial Growth Fund investment into roading.

“All of these things will extend economic activity as their work programmes get under way.”

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