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Manukau Economic Update October 2002

Manukau Economic Update October 2002

Manukau's economy is currently growing at 4 - 5% per annum and is expected to continue expanding at that rate over the next six months.

The property market and manufacturing growth are the key factors. High natural population increases and large inflows of migrants are fuelling the property market and house price inflation in Manukau is currently faster than in most other parts of New Zealand, which will continue to encourage developers. Over the year to August the monthly value of house building consents issued in Manukau grew 37%.

House sales were up by 27% in the year to July and annual house price inflation reached 7% in the June quarter.

The strong population growth will mean good business for shops and other businesses in the retail sector. Unemployment has dropped significantly. It is now at 6.7%, having fallen from 7.1% in March.

Tourism in the city is performing well, reflecting the uninterrupted flow of international tourists arriving through Auckland International Airport. The numbers are up 9% in the first half of the year with a big growth in tourists from China and South Korea.

There has been a slowdown in non-house construction over the year to June but in recent months a pickup has occurred and there are two major projects in the pipeline. A $15 million dollar distribution centre is being built in Mangere, and Manukau City Council is soon to start work on expanding the swimming pool facilities at Lloyd Elsmore Leisure Centre in Pakuranga at a cost of over $6 million.

Mayor Sir Barry Curtis believes the "leaky buildings" issue at this stage should have only a limited impact on the amount of building construction. "House and commercial building is a cornerstone of growth in Manukau's economy because there is so much of it. Our housing subdivisions such as Botany are growing extremely fast and the projections are for that to continue. Building projects inject money into the local economy and create demand for furniture, fittings and other products. All of this helps create economic activity and jobs."

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