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Data Flash NZ - ANZ Job Ads - February 20


Data Flash (New Zealand) ANZ Job Ads - February 2000

Key Facts

The trend number of job ads fell by 0.6% in February, following a 0.5% decline in December, but remained 17.2% higher than the same month a year earlier.

Comment

The trend appears to point to a slight softening in labour demand over recent months. The softening in job ads is consistent with other labour market indicators and points to a consolidation of labour market activity in Q1/2000 after a very strong employment gain in the December quarter (+1.4% qoq).

Comparing the published trend series with a longer-term trend suggests steady (close to trend) GDP growth at the beginning of this year. With the economy expected to move above trend, and strong inflation pressures emerging from other sources (eg increasing commodity prices and a weaker currency), we continue to expect the RBNZ to initiate a 50bps cash rate tightening on 15 March.

In an environment characterised by growing skill shortages, the interpretation of trends is made more difficult. On the one hand, skill shortages may lead firms to reduce advertising. On the other hand, firms may decide to advertise more widely across the country, the resulting double-counting leading to a rise in job ads.

ANZ Job Ads - Growth Trend Trend Unadjusted mom% ann% 3 mth%* Month of: Sep-99 2.0 35.0 32.5 Oct-99 0.9 33.0 36.6 Nov-99 0.1 28.9 34.8 Dec-99 -0.3 24.4 31.6 Jan-00 -0.5 20.4 20.3 Feb-00 -0.6 17.2 17.0 * Compares same period of previous year

Source: DB Global Market,s Research, ANZ Bank

Darren Gibbs, Senior Economist, New Zealand, (64) 9 351 1376

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