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Economic Bulletin February 2024

Economic Bulletin February 2024

Welcome to the February 2024 NZCTU Economic Bulletin.

In our monthly feature, we compare New Zealand’s economic performance over the COVID-19 period against our performance during and after the global financial crisis. This throws doubt on the validity of the new government’s claims that the New Zealand economy has been in a general state of “crisis” for the past year or so. However, this is not to say that household incomes haven’t been significantly impacted by the rising cost of living. We therefore take a closer look at how real incomes have fared over the last three years, breaking this down by sector, sex, and industry. This analysis shows that, had real wages continued to grow by their pre-COVID annual average over the past three years, real incomes would be 4.8% higher today.

In our regular updates, we examine the latest economic forecasts, and look at the employment, wage, union membership, and benefit data for the December 2023 period. We also summarise the latest inflation, migration, retail trade, consumer confidence, and housing data and examine the Crown accounts.

For the consumer inflation and household living costs data for the December 2023 quarter, please see the January 2024 Bulletin. For the GDP and balance of payments data for the September 2023 quarter, please see the December 2023 Bulletin.

The CTU has also released a report this week, Investing in a Growing Population, which shows that up to an additional $19.9 billion of public infrastructure and services will be needed to service possible population growth over the next four years. This would be additional to the government’s planned cuts to public investment of $2.4 billion.