ChristchurchNZ | Economic Update June 2019 Quarter
ChristchurchNZ has completed a quarterly economic update for the June 2019 quarter, providing an up-to-date picture of the local economy.
As Christchurch’s economic development agency, economic strategy, policy and insight represents an important aspect of our responsibilities for the city.
Growth in the Christchurch economy remained below the national rate for the June 2019 quarter, as the city continues to transition out of the rebuild period.
This underpins the need for a continued effort to attract more business, activity and people to the region and grow productivity and high value jobs. This is essential to replace construction activity as a significant driver of growth.
Topline results from the quarter include:
Christchurch’s real GDP grew by 1.2% in the year to June 2019, compared to a national growth rate of 2.5%.This sustained 0.8% points difference in growth between Christchurch and national economies reflects the impact of declining rebuild activity.
Christchurch’s unemployment rate is 3.8% for June 2019. This rate remains low and is below the national average, suggesting our underlying economy is robust.
Housing affordability in Christchurch remains strong, relative to other New Zealand urban centres thanks to lower residential rents and housing prices, and a steady growth in earnings. As a percentage of income, the cost of housing for Canterbury households continues to be below the national average.
Visitors are spending more in the central city. Central city retail growth, particularly from spenders from outside the city, suggest Christchurch’s central city is an attractive proposition.
Global uncertainty poses a risk to the local and national economies in coming months.
Investor confidence for office and retail property remains low, with high supply and tenant churn in the CBD. There is a risk that further regeneration of the central city could slow and potentially stall in the short term.