NZ wage inflation slows in 1Q, pressure off RBNZ   1 May 2012

New Zealand wage inflation slowed in the first three months of the year, leaving overall labour costs benign enough to let the central bank keep interest rates on hold for longer.

The labour cost index rose 0.4 percent in the three months ended March 31, according to Statistics New Zealand. That’s just short of the 0.5 percent forecast in a Reuters survey of economists.

Private sector wage costs grew 0.5 percent, according to Statistics New Zealand. Private sector staff in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors reported the fastest wage growth at 0.8 percent.

The tepid pace of wage inflation will let Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard continue to hold off raising the official cash rate as he contends with a strong currency damping imported inflation and volatile overseas markets raising the threat of volatility.

Last week, Bollard kept the benchmark interest rate at a record-low 2.5 percent, and issued another warning about the strength of the kiwi dollar.

Total private sector average hourly earnings jumped 1.3 percent to $24.90 with a 2.1 percent gain in overtime, according to the Quarterly Employment Survey, released at the same time. Reuters economists were picking a quarterly gain of just 0.5 percent.

Total public sector hour rates jumped 2.8 percent to $34.82, and the overall hourly rate rose 1.4 percent to $26.96.

Today’s figures come before Thursday’s household labour force survey, which is expected to show the unemployment rate stayed at 6.3 percent, and the participation rate crept up 0.1 percentage points to 68.3 percent.

The QES figures show total filled jobs dropped 1.2 percent to 1.69 million in the quarter, though were flat on a seasonally adjusted basis. Full-time equivalent positions fell 0.6 percent to 1.33 million in the quarter. FTEs were up 0.1 percent when seasonally adjusted.

The bulk of the quarterly decline came in education and training, which shed 22,100 FTEs, or 18 percent, to 104,300 in the period, though the quarter captures the school holidays. That quarterly decline was slightly larger than normal, leading to annual fall of 3.6 percent.

Electricity, gas, water and waste services added 5.5 percent, or 600, FTEs in the quarter to 11,600, while manufacturing FTEs grew 4.8 percent, or 8,000, to 175,200. Construction FTEs grew at a quarterly pace of 0.9 percent to 91,500.

Total weekly paid hours shrank an actual 0.6 percent to 51 million in the quarter, short of the 0.4 percent growth picked by economists. Paid hours fell 0.5 percent when seasonally adjusted. That’s the first quarterly decline since December 2010.

(BusinessDesk)

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

New Zealand Budget 2017

25 May 2017 Politics
25 May 2017 Speech:  Hon Steven Joyce - Minister of FinanceMr Speaker I move that the Appropriation (2017/18 Estimates) Bill be... more

Christchurch Cathedral Working Group report released

29 May 2017 Canterbury Earthquake
26 May 2017 Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner is today releasing the Cathedral Working Group... more

Business

Rocket launch a huge step for New Zealand’s space industry

25 May 2017 Business News
25 May 2017 Minister for Economic Development Simon Bridges has congratulated the team at Rocket Lab on the successful launch of... more

Increased investor confidence welcomed

29 May 2017 Business News
29 May 2017 Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean today welcomed the Financial Markets Authority annual survey results... more

Living

Spirit of “Mateship” prominent at London ANZAC commemorations

25 Apr 2017 ANZAC By Charlotte Everett
All photos copyright Peter Livingstone Photography. Lead image: HRH The Duke of York (far right), with the Hon Alexander Downer (far... more

3rd Position, Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series

21 Nov 2016 Lifestyle
Emirates Team New Zealand EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND CLOSES IN 3rd POSITION THE LOUIS VUITTON AMERICA’S CUP WORLD SERIES more

Property

New Zealand Housing Affordability Measure released

10 May 2017 Property
10 May 2017 The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) new Housing Affordability Measure will allow the market... more

NZ house prices gain 11% in October

14 Nov 2016 Property
Article - BusinessDesk Monday 14 November 2016 10:28 AM NZ house prices gain 11% in October, driven by sales of higher value homes By... more

Migration

Suspension of decision making authority

25 Apr 2017 Migration
24 April 2017Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse is taking steps to improve Immigration New Zealand’s decision making... more

Recognised Seasonal Employers employ more Kiwis

8 Feb 2017 Migration
7 Feb 2017 Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse welcomes a report showing the vast majority of employers who take on seasonal... more

Travel

International visitors projected to spend $15 billion

12 May 2017 Travel & Tourism
12 May 2017 New Zealand’s tourism sector is forecast to grow significantly over the next seven years, with international... more

Tourism spending continues rise in 2017

10 May 2017 Travel & Tourism
27 April 2017 Tourism spending by both international and domestic visitors continues to grow strongly in 2017, Acting Tourism Minister... more

Sport

Canada win has Black Ferns Sevens on track

29 May 2017 Rugby
LYNN MCCONNELL     29 MAY 2017     WORLD RUGBY New Zealand's Black Ferns beat home team Canada... more

Pressure on Lions from the outset

29 May 2017 Rugby
29 MAY 2017 Former British & Irish Lions and Ireland lock Paul O'Connell believes the 2017 tour kicking off in Whangarei on... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade

11 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the Gareth Morgan crusade First published on Werewolf more

Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome

10 Nov 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the US election outcome more

Kiwi Success

Law Commissioner appointed

29 May 2017 Appointments
29 May 2017 Former Secretary for Justice Belinda Clark has been appointed as Law Commissioner, Justice Minister Amy Adams announced... more

Spencer to be Acting Governor of Reserve Bank

8 Feb 2017 Appointments
7 Feb 2017 Finance Minister Steven Joyce will appoint current Deputy Reserve Bank Governor Grant Spencer as the Acting Governor of... more

Recruitment

New employment resource for young people

1 Mar 2017 Recruitment
28 Feb 2017 Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith and Associate Education Minister Louise Upston have... more

Record number of people in employment

1 Feb 2017 Recruitment
1 Feb 2017 Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith has welcomed the record number of New Zealanders now in... more

s