Weekly Digest – 24 January 2024

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Less businesses expecting economic deterioration

There are signs business confidence is on the rise, in the latest New Zealand Institute of Economic Research quarterly survey.

Food prices fall for fourth month in a row – Stats NZ

Food prices are 4.8% higher than a year ago but were cheaper last month compared to November, Stats NZ said.

Drop in manufacturing activity last year signals possible recession

A further slide in manufacturing activity at the end of last year is pointing to the economy possibly dipping back into recession.  The BNZ-Business New Zealand Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) fell 3.4 points to 43.1 in December, after a 3.8 point rise in November.

Major bank predicts inflation to fall – interest rate cuts unlikely

ASB is predicting inflation would have fallen at the end of last year, however, it predicts cuts to interest rates aren’t likely until at least the second half of 2024. Stats NZ will release its consumer price index (CPI) this week which is a measure of inflation for New Zealand households.

Opportunities for NZ foods in US trends

Tracking of United States consumer trends reveals opportunities for New Zealand farmers to bridge the gap between their farms and the American consumer. But first NZ needs to develop the capabilities and embed the technologies to make this possible.

Supermarket merger: ComCom’s first thoughts on mega-Foodstuffs

The competition regulator says a merging of supermarket giant Foodstuffs between the North and South Islands would effectively turn it into Woolworths, and result in structural changes for the grocery sector.

Wood industry concerned Red Sea conflict could drive up shipping costs

The New Zealand wood industry is closely watching the conflict in the Red Sea, as global shipping costs rise as a result of the disrupted supply chain.

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