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Manukau’s high growth continues

Manukau’s high growth continues

Manukau’s economy expanded by 5.7 per cent in the year to March, continuing a pattern of high growth which is almost three times the national average.

The New Zealand economy grew by 2.2 per cent over the same period, and the Auckland region by 5.1 per cent.

Unemployment in Manukau fell and the labour and skills shortage which had been making it hard for employers to find staff has eased significantly.

A mix of factors is affecting the business community. On the one hand the fall of the kiwi dollar is helping exporters, including manufacturers. The government’s tax relief package and other measures announced in the Budget earlier this year are also having a positive impact.

On the other hand, high petrol prices and interest rates are a dampening factor.

Manukau has been growing at a fast rate for some years and Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says he is pleased the growth is continuing.

“It’s a very strong result and confirms Manukau as the most dynamic business location in the country. It also results in many new jobs. We need 7,500 new jobs each year for our expanding population, including thousands of school leavers.”

Manukau’s unemployment rate has fallen from 6.2 per cent in December to 5.8 per cent in March. However it is still higher than the national average of 3.9 per cent.

“We do all we can to help the business community expand and promote the city to new businesses,” Sir Barry says.

“Manukau has many strengths – available land, excellent infrastructure and quick access to important transport links such as the airport and ports. So there are sound reasons to locate here.”

Manukau continues to attract a growing number of tourists and visitors, with the number of tourist guest nights 3 per cent higher than the previous year. This is against the regional trend, as the number of guest nights in the Auckland region as a whole fell by 4 per cent.

Manukau City Council is strongly promoting Manukau as a visitor destination, as the city has much untapped potential, in particular its scenery and cultural attractions.

Overall, many more businesses in the city are now upbeat compared to last year, with 31 per cent of manufacturing and building firms intending to increase investment in plant and machinery.

That is a good sign, says Sir Barry, because when things are not looking good, companies stop such investing, even though investment is the key to raising productivity, competitiveness and long term sales.

The above information is from a quarterly economic report to Manukau City Council by Infometrics Ltd.


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