Yes, it’s 2019 already, and it seems a particularly perilous time to engage in forecasting the economy. But that’s our job. It shouldn’t surprise that the story to start us off in 2019 revolves around the rest of the world. In the shadow of the BREXIT debacle, slowing growth in the Chinese economy, US monetary policy (interest rates) tightening, a partial but prolonged shutdown of the US Government, exaggerated stock market volatility, and China-US sabre-rattling, it is unremarkable that there is a slowing in New Zealand’s economic growth rate. But job numbers, continue to expand and, most remarkably – despite the aforementioned global jitters as well as a resurgent NZ$ – the New Zealand export sector is reporting strong growth in receipts.