Economist Dr Ganesh Nana, BERL Executive Director, tells Mark Sainsbury we need to think long-term when it comes to investing in rail and consider the returns to communities and associated industries.
CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY continues to fuel activity across the economy. Further, with the dairy sector boom having come to a grinding full stop as international prices plummet, the construction sector is now pretty much on its own as the engine of the country’s economic growth.
Recently there has been a lot of attention on the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it will revolutionize our lives. The IoT more or less involves connecting every day ‘dumb’ household devices like air conditioners and garage doors to the internet using a built-in integrated chip and a modem. The idea is that once these devices ‘go online’ they will be able to transmit data back to their manufacturers and communicate with each other to make decisions based on ‘environmental’ conditions; a process known as machine to machine learning in tech jargon. The term itself has been around for a long time and was coined back in 1999 by British researcher/tech entrepreneur Kevin Ashton.
A recent Dominion Post article on Wellington’s surplus taxis gave information on the cost of taxis from airports to CBDs in seventeen world cities.
Over the last few months New Zealand households have benefitted directly and indirectly from the decline in the international price for oil, caused through strong increases in supply and weak increases in demand.
The 12-month running total for residential building consents stood at 24,100 in September 2014. Year-on-year, residential building consents were up 14 percent with consents for residential housing in Southland, Auckland, Tasman and Otago leading the way. Annualised totals, as shown in the figure below, indicate that consents could potentially reach the 26,000 mark, last seen in September 2007, and well ahead of the 13,500 consents witnessed in the 12 months to September 2011.
The 12-month running total for residential building consents stood at 23,975 in August 2014. Year-on-year, residential building consents were up 23 percent with consents for residential housing in Canterbury, Auckland, Otago and the Waikato leading the way. Annualised totals, as shown in the figure below, indicate that consents could potentially go back to the 26,000 mark seen in August 2007, and are well ahead of the 13,500 consents witnessed in the 12 months to August 2011.
A new undersea transpacific fibre optic cable connecting New Zealand to the US has been proposed by Auckland based company Hawaiki Cable Limited. Hawaiki Cable, led by former Alcatel Lucent executive Remi Galasoo, has proposed to lay a 14,000 Km undersea cable linking New Zealand, Australia and several Pacific Island nations to the US West Coast through Hawaii by the end of 2015.
As mentioned in our latest edition of BEV, the three months to June has seen activity in the building and construction sector step up to another level. The latest figures from the housing and non-residential sectors for July show this momentum continuing.
The Minister of Finance, Hon Bill English, announced in Budget 2013 that $7.2 million will be spent over four years on housing accords. The first accord has already been agreed with Auckland Council, and special housing areas are expected to be designated later this year.
Residential building consents steadily grew throughout 2012. The year ended with 16,960 consents being issued in the 12 months to December 2012, an increase of 24 percent on the year earlier.
An independent review of a KiwiRail report used to justify closing the Gisborne to Napier line has been released.
In the three months to November 2012 there were 4,800 new residential building consents issued, while the 12-month total for the year ending November 2012 stood at 16,670.
Now that the numbers are in for the first quarter of 2012, it can be seen that there has been a steady improvement in the number of residential building consents issued. In the last quarter of 2011 3,760 residential building consents were issued. In the first quarter of 2012, this number has crept up to 3,860. However, any enthusiasm in regards to an up-turn in the industry needs to be treated with caution - 2011 was not a good year for the building construction industry - and any improvements in the numbers or our forecasts are coming off a low base, as shown in the figure below.
January is usually a slow month in terms of residential building consents.