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Businesses Challenged in Booming Economy

23rd November 2022
The latest Waimakariri Quarterly Economics Report released by Infometrics last week highlights significant economic growth in the district for the year to September as well as increased consumer spending, population growth, lower unemployment and a generally strong economic position.
Businesses Challenged in Booming Economy

This contrasts with the North Canterbury Business Opinion Survey released earlier this month by Enterprise North Canterbury (ENC) which paints a very different picture for the local business community. The key takeaways in the survey highlight difficulties with finding and retaining staff, high costs, lower profitability, inflation pressures and ongoing supply issues.

“Whilst the Infometrics report points to positive figures like higher consumer spending and huge GDP growth, much of this growth is due to high inflation and a population increase of 2%. The latest North Canterbury Business Opinion Survey showed that businesses were seeing increased sales levels but higher costs, meaning lower profit levels. Similarly, high levels of employment is fantastic but this also means there are fewer people available to be employed, leading to staff shortages and wage rises – more pressure on our business sector.

“Together, these reports tell us that we currently have a booming local economy at the same time as very low business confidence levels,” says Miles Dalton of Enterprise North Canterbury.

According to the Infometrics report, the Waimakariri District’s economy was up 6.4% on the year to September, outpacing that of Christchurch City which sat at around 3.7%. Waimakariri’s unemployment rate fell to 2.4% compared to Christchurch’s 3.7%. Population growth was also greater in Waimakariri – up 2.0% compared to a drop of 0.2% in Christchurch City.

“On the surface, these statistics are fantastic,” says Mr Dalton. “But we need to put it into perspective and acknowledge that while the headline numbers are very positive, this does not translate into smooth sailing for our businesses, many of whom continue to struggle in the current environment.”

Read the full Waimakariri Quarterly Economic Report here.

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