For Period Ending Sept 2019
The Taupō economy is still growing at a healthy rate, although growth is slowing after a long period of sustained expansion. Infometrics’ preliminary estimate of GDP shows the economy expanded by 1.9% in the 12 months to September 2019.
Taupō’s population has been growing faster than previously estimated. Following the release of the 2018 Census StatsNZ has revised Taupō’s 2018 population to 38,300, up from the previous estimate of 37,200. In the year to June 2019 the district’s population has increased a further 2.6% to reach 39,300. Growth in health enrolments of 2.7% in the year to September 2019 indicates that the population is continuing to grow rapidly.
Population growth is buoying the housing market. The average house value reached $528,000 in the year to September 2019, up 9.2% on the previous year.
Businesses confidence will be boosted by the latest announcement from Fonterra that they have raised the farmgate milk price for the 19/20 season to a midpoint of $7.05/kgms. The higher milk price will bring an additional $36m into the Taupō economy, and with global milk supply growth remaining low and GlobalDairyTrade auctions returning high prices, there is potential for the milk price to head even higher.
The international visitor market to New Zealand is softening, but the tourism industry in Taupō is showing some resilience. Commercial guest nights in Taupō were down by 4.2% but were likely offset by growth in private accommodation like Airbnb which aren’t measured. Total tourism expenditure is still growing, and reached $687m in the year to September 2019, up 6.6% on the previous 12 months.
Taupō’s labour market is in better shape than we previously thought. Infometrics has revised Taupō’s unemployment rate downwards following the release of the 2018 Census. We estimate the unemployment rate to be 6.7% in the year to September 2019. There has been an uptick in Jobseeker Support recipients but the increase in Taupō (4.6%) is well below the national rate (10.3%).