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Economic measures show region growing well

Economic measures show region growing well

Two reports commissioned by the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency show Nelson Tasman is doing well, with job numbers growing and unemployment dropping.

The Quarterly Economic Report for the year ending December 2018, compiled by economists Infometrics every three months, shows the latest economic figures for the region compare well to national figures, Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency chief executive Mark Rawson says.

In its Regional Economic Profile for Nelson-Tasman, Infometrics estimates Nelson Tasman’s economy grew by 2.8 per cent in the March 2018 year, slightly ahead of the 2.7 per cent estimate of national growth.

In that report, Infometrics says “economic growth over recent years has been accompanied by strong job creation, which has been reflected in growth in most spending and investment indicators that we follow”.

Rawson says the Nelson Regional Development Agency has commissioned the regular reports from Infometrics to track a range of economic measures across the region and to get a better understanding of the local economy.

“We are also trying to provide easy-to-access tools around this type of data to assist businesses with their investment decision-making.”

The reports are available to all on the agency’s website:

The quarterly updates give regular measures of how different parts of the regional economy are performing, and the annual Regional Economic Profile gives an in-depth description of the economic structure and performance of the region.

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“It means we can target our efforts and see results - for example, our destination marketing wants to see higher-value visitors who spend more while they are in the region, and the figures indicate we are attracting those visitors.”

Infometrics’ recently-released Regional Economic Profile shows Nelson Tasman’s economy added 1237 jobs in the year to March 2018, taking total job numbers to 53,405. The sharpest increases were in the construction sector, accommodation and hospitality, education, the primary sector, and professional services.

Improving employment prospects have been reflected in the number of people receiving Jobseeker Support, which fell by an average of 1.0 per cent across 2018. The report says these “improving job prospects have increased the appeal of Nelson Tasman as a place to live”.

Other growth indicators include house sale numbers, which were up 7.6 per cent in Nelson Tasman, compared to a national figure of 3.1 per cent.

The number of commercial guest nights were down 1.9 per cent, but the visitor spend was up 1.1 per cent to $663 million, reflecting the shift we are seeing in the visitor markets towards the sharing economy, such as Airbnb, Rawson says.

The continued lift in visitor spend is healthy, given this is on top of significant double-digit growth over the past three years, he says. That visitor spend filters into many areas of the economy, such as retail and hospitality.

Consumer spending on electronic cards was up 3.1 per cent during the quarter.

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