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

ACT Speech: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail

21 Apr 2014 Politics
DR JAMIE WHYTE, ACT LEADER Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10... more

Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote

20 Apr 2014 Politics
Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I... more

Business

Air NZ says claims withdrawn as other airlines settle in Oz

17 Apr 2014 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk   Air New Zealand says claims withdrawn as other airlines settle over cargo cartel, seeks costs April 17 ... more

Genesis Energy soars on debut, other gen-taliers rise

17 Apr 2014 Business News By Suze Metherell
  Genesis Energy soars on debut, leading fellow energy companies higher April 17 (BusinessDesk) – Shares in the partially... more

Living

The Taite Music Prize: IMNZ announces this years winner

17 Apr 2014 Entertainment
The winner of the fourth annual Taite Music Prize 2013 is Lorde for her album ‘Pure Heroine’ released on Universal Music... more

3 Mile Limit Movie Continues to Win Awards in the U.S

15 Apr 2014 Lifestyle
New Zealand movie ‘3 Mile Limit’ has won Best Feature Film at both the North Hollywood and Charleston International Film... more

Property

NZ house values rise at slowest annual pace in 6 months in March, QV says

7 Apr 2014 Property
April 7 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand property values increased at the slowest annual pace in six months in March as lower... more

Auckland landlords lead in capital gains

28 Mar 2014 Property
Three-bedroom houses in Glen Innes giving an annual capital gain of 18.9%, followed by New Windsor. Auckland landlords are making... more

Migration

New working holiday agreement between New Zealand and Croatia launched

28 Mar 2014 Migration
Citizens of Croatia aged between 18 and 30 will soon be eligible to apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa, giving them the... more

New Zealand immigration hits ten year high

28 Mar 2014 Migration
New statistics have shown net migration to New Zealand to be at a 10 year high, with China becoming the largest source of new... more

Travel

Chinese company to build $200M hotel on Auckland waterfront

16 Apr 2014 Travel & Tourism By Suze Metherell
  Company linked to one of China’s richest women to spend $200 mln on Auckland hotel April 16 (BusinessDesk) – Fu... more

SmartGate opens to arriving UK & US travellers

3 Apr 2014 Travel & Tourism
Customs Minister Maurice Williamson today announced SmartGate is now open to United Kingdom and American travellers on arrival. The... more

Sport

Kia Magic claim hard-fought win over Mystics

21 Apr 2014 Netball
Official Result: Kia Magic (56) defeated Northern Mystics (50) Kia Magic were forced to repel a spirited Northern Mystics challenge... more

Dan Carter: All Blacks's goal is back-to-back World Cups

17 Apr 2014 Rugby By Oliver Brown
New Zealand No 10 is loving his sabbatical, including a trip to the Masters, however his only motive is to return fit and fresh for... more

Columns

Mind-set, meaning and moderation in optimal health

20 Apr 2014 Column By Tricia Alach
The holistic helper's guide to Wellness: Part Two   To misquote Aristotle ‘We are what we repeatedly do, wellness then is... more

Prime Minister John Key Notes - Rebuild gaining momentum

20 Apr 2014 Column
  Every time I visit Canterbury I am struck by the changes I see and inspired by the resolve of the region's people. Today was... more

Kiwi Success

BNZ names Anthony Healy as new CEO, replacing Thorburn

17 Apr 2014 Appointments
April 17 (BusinessDesk) – Bank of New Zealand, the local unit of Australia’s third-biggest mortgage lender, named the... more

Kiwi alpinist is finalist for prestigious award

26 Mar 2014 People
NZ Alpine Club Kiwi alpinist is finalist for prestigious mountaineering award New Zealand Alpine Club President John Cocks has today... more

Recruitment

Growth seen further lifting average wage by $7,500

15 Apr 2014 Recruitment
  The average annual wage is expected to increase by $7,500 to around $62,200 a year by 2018 if New Zealand achieves its ... more

NZ employment confidence lifts in 1st-qtr

31 Mar 2014 Recruitment
Article - BusinessDesk   NZ employment confidence lifts in 1st-qtr, current job opportunities seen less negative March 31 ... more