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Demographic change a force that firms ignore at their peril - NZIER Insight 37

New Zealand's population is ageing – confronting firms to respond to the opportunities an ageing population brings. The most successful firms will need to have a clear understanding of the impacts of demographic change on not just consumer demand, but also the supply side of business. This means putting in place strategies to address the impact of ageing on the make-up of the workforce, succession planning and where new ideas will come from.

New Zealand's population is ageing – confronting firms to respond to the opportunities an ageing population brings. The most successful firms will need to have a clear understanding of the impacts of demographic change on not just consumer demand, but also the supply side of business. This means putting in place strategies to address the impact of ageing on the make-up of the workforce, succession planning and where new ideas will come from.

Apple industry gained millions through science and marketing - NZIER Insight 36

Consumers, supermarkets and distributors in Germany and the United Kingdom have been demanding reduced chemical use on fruit. The innovative growing programme ‘Apple Futures’ brought scientists and growers together to figure out how to reduce sprays and residues while producing export-quality fruit. Analysis from NZIER found that the research programme preserved between $25m and $35m per year of industry net income from 2008 to 2011, at a research cost of $3.2m. In just four years, the apple industry earned up to an extra $113m by reducing chemical residues to one-tenth of the maximum set by the European Union.

Consumers, supermarkets and distributors in Germany and the United Kingdom have been demanding reduced chemical use on fruit. The innovative growing programme ‘Apple Futures’ brought scientists and growers together to figure out how to reduce sprays and residues while producing export-quality fruit. Analysis from NZIER found that the research programme preserved between $25m and $35m per year of industry net income from 2008 to 2011, at a research cost of $3.2m.

Kapiti Coast’s new economy

A report to Kapiti Coast District Council.
An assessment of the ‘new economy’approach to economic development on the Kapiti Coast.

A report to Kapiti Coast District Council.

The Kapiti Coast District Council is looking to the future and wants to understand how it can promote a vibrant economy that keeps people living and working in the District, while responding to anticipated future national and global events.

NZIER has been asked to consider:

Canterbury after the earthquakes, April 2012 update

The Canterbury earthquakes have disrupted lives and the economy. This Insight brings together key economic indicators to provide a second snapshot of the economic disruption.   We find encouraging signs of stabilisation.

The Canterbury earthquakes have disrupted lives and the economy. This Insight brings together key economic indicators to provide a second snapshot of the economic disruption.  We find encouraging signs of stabilisation.


Each year NZIER devotes some of its resources to undertake and make freely available economic research and thinking aimed at promoting a better understanding of New Zealand’s important economic challenges. The preparation of this paper was funded from those resources.

Seven years lost - NZIER Insight 33

Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu (In search of lost time) inspired the Proust index in The Economist newspaper of 25 February 2012. The Economist looked across a number of economic measures to see how far back countries have slipped since the global economic crisis. We replicated the Proust index for New Zealand. The recession has cost us dear. In economic terms, New Zealand is now back in 2005.

Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu (In search of lost time) inspired the Proust index in The Economist newspaper of 25 February 2012. The Economist looked across a number of economic measures to see how far back countries have slipped since the global economic crisis. We replicated the Proust index for New Zealand. The recession has cost us dear. In economic terms, New Zealand is now back in 2005.

Grow for it - How population policies can can promote economic growth, NZIER working paper 2012/1

New Zealand struggles to grow its economy partially due to its small size and remote location. There is little that can be done to change location, but the size can be increased over time. It is feasible to adopt a population policy with the aim of the population reaching 15 million in the next 50 years – an annual growth rate of 2.5% per annum. This would bring the size and density of the population to levels closer to more prosperous European countries. Fifteen million – two and a half times current projections – is a good target, too, as it allows for several large cities, fostering competition within New Zealand.

New Zealand struggles to grow its economy partially due to its small size and remote location. There is little that can be done to change location, but the size can be increased over time. It is feasible to adopt a population policy with the aim of the population reaching 15 million in the next 50 years – an annual growth rate of 2.5% per annum. This would bring the size and density of the population to levels closer to more prosperous European countries.

Superannuation dilemma

An occasional column for the Dominion Post newspaper.

The government has agreed to investigate United Future’s flexi-superannuation proposal - the idea that people are able to choose whether to take up superannuation at age 60 at a reduced rate or at a higher rate at some later age. It is good that changes to superannuation are on the table. But it is critical that discussion is not limited to just this flexibility.

 

The government has agreed to investigate United Future’s flexi-superannuation proposal - the idea that people are able to choose whether to take up superannuation at age 60 at a reduced rate or at a higher rate at some later age. It is good that changes to superannuation are on the table. But it is critical that discussion is not limited to just this flexibility.

Canterbury after the earthquakes - NZIER Insight 30

The Canterbury earthquakes have disrupted lives and the economy. This Insight brings together key economic indicators to provide a snapshot of the economic disruption. The true cost of the disaster will not be known for some time. The immediate clean-up and reconstruction is boosting demand in certain sectors like utilities, construction, safety, healthcare and social assistance. These have not fully offset reduced activity in other sectors.

The Canterbury earthquakes have disrupted lives and the economy. This Insight brings together key economic indicators to provide a snapshot of the economic disruption. The true cost of the disaster will not be known for some time. The immediate clean-up and reconstruction is boosting demand in certain sectors like utilities, construction, safety, healthcare and social assistance. These have not fully offset reduced activity in other sectors.

 

Industry productivity and the Australia-New Zealand income gap - NZIER working paper 2011/3

The main reason for the growing income gap between New Zealand and Australia are differences in the quality of management, process innovation and the quality of labour and capital, finds new research released by NZIER. This finding contrasts with the more conventional belief that a lack of capital intensity or differences in mining wealth is the issue.  “When we adjust for differences in the structure of our economy, we find that the income gap with Australia is not so much because it does different things, but because, in the things we do too, Australia does it better”, said Jean-Pierre de Raad, NZIER’s chief executive.
“Only 30% of the productivity gap is due to the structure of the economy. Mining is not the secret to Australia’s success.”
“We also find that capital intensity is not the main thing we should be concerned about, as differences primarily reflect economic structures. Instead, New Zealand’s main problem is the underperformance of industries.”

Differences in productivity explain much of the growing income gap between Australia and New Zealand. Good policy responses rely on understanding the sources of these differences. Seventy percent of the aggregate gap in productivity between the two countries is due to underperformance of New Zealand’s industries rather than a difference in the industrial structure of the two countries.

Policies made on a calm day seem more robust

An occasional column for the Dominion Post newspaper.
The debt crises in the US and Europe are a collision of political wishful thinking and economic reality. Jean-Pierre de Raad writes that New Zealand would do well to face its own fiscal demons now.

The debt crises in the US and Europe are a collision of political wishful thinking and economic reality. Jean-Pierre de Raad writes that New Zealand would do well to face its own fiscal demons now.

New Zealand seems like a safe haven. While the US and Europe struggle with seemingly impending doom, our currency has pushed ever higher, a sign of relative economic strength. But this is just a timing issue – our fiscal core is rotting just like in the US and Greece.

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