Research

Taupo District Economic Monitor March 2018

The Taupō economy is booming. Infometrics’ provisional estimate of GDP shows that Taupō’s economy expanded by 4.1% in the March 2018 year, compared with growth of 2.7% in the national economy. Growth averaged about 3% throughout 2017.

Agriculture is a key driver of growth in the Taupō District and the pick-up in dairy prices is a boon to the industry. Fonterra has raised its forecast farmgate milk price to $6.55/kgMS for the 2017/18 season. This milk price is 43c/kgMS higher than what farmers received in the previous season and our estimates suggest that this will boost the total payout to the Taupō District by $20.3m. The outlook for the 2018/19 season is even better with prices on the GlobalDairyTrade auctions suggesting a per kilo milk price of over $7.

Other primary sectors in Taupō are also healthy. Lamb prices are high at present, with supplies tight and export demand strong in most markets, particularly China. Forestry prices are sitting at record highs in New Zealand dollar terms, as local and export demand is high.

Tourism in Taupō has also grown strongly. Guest nights in the region were up 7.4% from the year to March 2017 while tourism spending and traffic flows were up 11% and 6.3% respectively. All these tourism indicators were stronger for Taupō than the national average.

The strength of the economy has flowed through to the labour market. The number of Jobseeker Support recipients has dropped to an average of 806 in the year to March 2018 from 880 in the previous 12 months. Unemployment has dropped to 3.5%, well below the national average of 4.6%.

With more people in jobs and more tourists in Taupō it follows that retail spending is up. Data from Marketview shows that electronic retail sales were 7.5% higher in the 12 months to March 2018, compared with the previous year.

Click to download the full report: Taupo Economic Monitor March 2018

Highlights for Taupo District

  • GDP in Taupo District was up 4.1% for the year to March 2018 compared to a year earlier. Growth was higher than in New Zealand (2.7%).
  • Traffic flows in Taupo District increased by 6.3% over the year to March 2018. This compares with an increase of 2.0% in New Zealand
  • Electronic card retail spending in Taupo District, as measured by Marketview, increased by 7.5% over the year to March 2018 compared to the previous year. This compares with an increase of 4.5% in New Zealand.
  • A total of 68 new residential building consents were issued in Taupo District in the March 2018 quarter, compared with 48 in the same quarter last year.
  • On an annual basis the number of consents in Taupo District increased by 11% compared with the same 12-month period a year ago. The number of consents in New Zealand increased by 2.5% over the same period.
  • Non-residential building consents to the value of $28 million were issued in Taupo District during the year to March 2018.  The value of consents increased by 23% over the year to March 2018. By comparison the value of consents in New Zealand increased by 2.6% over the same period.
  • The average current house value in Taupo District was up 6.3% in March 2018 compared with a year earlier.  The average current house value was $455,936 in Taupo District over the March 2018 year. This compares with $659,904 in New Zealand.  A total of 997 houses were sold in Taupo District in the 12 months ended March 2018. This compares with the ten year average of 729.
  • The number of cars registered in Taupo District increased by 10% in the year to March 2018 compared with the previous 12 months. Growth was higher than in New Zealand, where car sales increased by 4.4%.
  • The annual average unemployment rate in Taupo District was 3.5% in March 2018, down from 3.9% a year earlier.  The unemployment rate in Taupo District was lower than in New Zealand, where the unemployment rate averaged 4.6% over the year to March 2018.
  • Working age Jobseeker Support recipients in Taupo District in the year to March 2018 decreased by 8.4% compared with the previous year. Growth was lower relative to New Zealand, where the number of Jobseeker Support recipients decreased by 0.5%.
  • Taupo District experenced a permanent and long-term net migration gain of 156 persons in the year to March 2018.
  • Total tourism expenditure in Taupo District increased by 11% in the year to March 2018. This compares with an increase of 9.3% in New Zealand.  Total tourism expenditure was approximately $644m in Taupo District during the year to March 2018, which was up from $580m a year ago.
  • Total commercial guest nights in Taupo District increased by 7.4% in the year to March 2018. This compares with an increase of 3.9% in New Zealand.  Visitors stayed a total of 1,169,271 nights in Taupo District during the year to March 2018, which was up from 1,088,848 a year ago.
  • Taupo District's total dairy payout for the 2016/17 season is estimated to have been approximately $289m.  Taupo District's dairy payout for the 2017/18 season is expected to be approximately $310m, $20.3m higher than last season, assuming that production levels from last season are maintained.

Economic Research and Reports

Each quarter, Enterprise Great Lake Taupo commissions economic research and publishes the findings in the ‘Taupō District Economic Monitor’.  This report is prepared independently, and follows the same format each quarter to provide benchmarking and comparison.  

Keys Valuers Ltd produce an annual Retail Precinct Survey that contains benchmarking data and analysis.  You can read the current edition here

SME's dominate our industries and make an important contribution to our economy. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment together with Statistics New Zealand have put together this Small Business sheet that contains plenty of great facts and figures.

MBIE also have an interactive tool that you can use to find out key economic data and see how our economy compares to others.  Check it out here.

Marketview - This report gives an insight into retail spending in the Taupo District. It looks at who is spending in our district, where the hotspots are and how our retail spend compares to the rest of New Zealand. 

You can download the Marketview report for the Year End June 2017 here.

Download previous Taupo District Economic Monitor reports below: