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

Minister welcomes Baghdad appointment

25 Aug 2016 News
New Zealand Government Hon Gerry BrownleeMinister of Defence 25 August 2016 Minister welcomes Baghdad appointment Defence Minister... more

NZ exporters to UK asked about Brexit impact

16 Aug 2016 News
New Zealand Government Hon Todd McClayMinister of Trade 16 August 2016 Media Statement NZ exporters to UK asked about Brexit... more

Business

NZ trade deficit narrows in July from year earlier

24 Aug 2016 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk NZ trade deficit narrows in July from year earlier as imports fall faster than exports By Jonathan ... more

ANZ, Westpac limit mortgage rate cuts

11 Aug 2016 Business News
Article - BusinessDesk ANZ, Westpac limit mortgage rate cuts, but Kiwibank goes all in By Edwin Mitson Aug. 11 (BusinessDesk) - Two... more

Living

Young New Zealanders Making Films For Good

18 Jul 2016 Lifestyle
The Outlook for Someday Young New Zealanders Making Films For Good What does sustainability mean to you? Since 2007 The Outlook for... more

Review: NZ's Pitch Black - live in London

8 Jul 2016 Entertainment By Charlotte Everett
20 years after their debut at The Gathering, Pitch Black have satiated a packed venue of fans at London’s Oslo, in... more

Property

Auckland house prices are stabilising Barfoot says

3 Aug 2016 Property By Sophie Boot
Wednesday 03 August 2016 10:30 AM Auckland house prices are stabilising, may have plateaued, Barfoot says Aug. 3 (BusinessDesk) -... more

NZ home values rise at fastest quarterly pace in 12 years

2 Aug 2016 Property By Tina Morrison
Article - BusinessDesk NZ home values rise at fastest quarterly pace in 12 years By Tina Morrison Aug. 2 (BusinessDesk) - New... more

Migration

Kiwis could be affected by tighter UK rules

30 Mar 2016 Migration By Audrey Young
British High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair is defending changes to skilled migrant rules for Britain but suggests they won't affect... more

Immigrants' attitudes to corruption worries SFO

17 Feb 2016 Migration By Sophie Boot
Feb. 17 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's record inbound migration has undermined the country's squeaky-clean reputation because of an... more

Travel

Newer, faster and simpler eGates for Wellington

25 Aug 2016 Travel & Tourism
New Zealand Government   Hon Wagner using the new eGates at Wellington Airport.... more

NZ guest nights jump to a record in June amid tourism boom

10 Aug 2016 Travel & Tourism By Tina Morrison
Article - BusinessDesk Wednesday 10 August 2016 12:19 PM Aug. 10 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand accommodation providers had their... more

Sport

World Rugby appoints RWC 2019 General Manager

25 Aug 2016 Rugby
With just over three years to go before Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan, World Rugby has appointed Rob Abernethy as RWC 2019 General... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on the end game in Spain

25 Aug 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the end game in Spain First published on Werewolf more

Gordon Campbell on the Impotence of the Reserve Bank

11 Aug 2016 Opinion
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on the Impotence of the Reserve Bank First published on Werewolf more

Kiwi Success

Appointments to New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO

12 Aug 2016 Appointments
New Zealand Government Hon Hekia ParataMinister of Education 12 August 2016 Appointments to New Zealand National Commission for... more

Andrew Hill Appointed CEO Rugby League World Cup 2017

10 Aug 2016 Appointments
Rugby League World Cup Wednesday 10 August 2016 Respected and experienced Rugby League administrator, Andrew Hill, has been appointed... more

Recruitment

Jobs growth continues to be strong

3 Aug 2016 Recruitment
New Zealand Government Hon Steven Joyce Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment 3 August 2016 Jobs growth continues... more

NZ private sector wage inflation misses expectations in June

3 Aug 2016 State of the Market Report By Paul McBeth
Wednesday 03 August 2016 11:57 AM NZ private sector wage inflation misses expectations in June quarter Aug. 3 (BusinessDesk) - New... more

s