Katie Bradford's Business Watch: GDP, tax, housing and leaders' debate

1News Business Correspondent Katie Bradford gives the forecast for economic news this week as the country gets closer to election day.

GDP - Doom or gloom?

Gross Domestic Product, the main measure of economic growth, will be out on Thursday and will reveal whether the economy has rebounded.

We fell into a technical recession in the last quarter, with most parts of the economy slowing or contracting. It’s widely expected that there’ll be a small bounce in activity in the last quarter of up to 0.5%.

Those high migration levels revealed last week – close to hitting 100,000 arrivals in the last year – are crucial to keeping the economy trucking along.

It was June’s GDP figures that saw us fall into the technical recession, with a 0.1% fall. Labour will be hoping a readjustment in figures will reveal the country was never officially in recession.

That’d dent some of the criticism National levels at the government over its handling of the economy.

Despite that, as revealed in last week’s PREFU, there’s no doubt growth has slowed and will take some time to pick up. It also doesn’t take away from the general sentiment from households, workers and businesses who continue to feel the pinch.

Tax and housing

With four weeks of campaigning to go, expect questions to continue over National’s proposed tax on foreign buyers, and the impact its policies may have on the housing market.

National is still refusing to release its tax policy workings, with many economists claiming the numbers simply don’t add up. Adding fuel to the fire last week was Nicola Willis admitting she doesn’t know if the combination of her party’s policies will lead to house price inflation – and refusing to say if any work had been done to look at the impact on the cost of houses.

With most housing data now showing the market is slowly picking up in some areas, we may start to see savvy investors jumping in to snap up perceived bargains before prices pick up again.

Expect a very close eye to be kept on all housing data over the next few weeks.

And speaking of the economy...

Must-watch TV will be on Tuesday night, with the first head-to-head leaders’ debate on 1News.

With the economy and cost of living the key focus for all parties this election, there’s bound to be a mix of one-liners, a few zingers and hopefully serious talk of a vision for economic recovery and growth.

Tune in to 1News or watch the live stream at 1news.co.nz.


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