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Quarterly Economic Monitor December 2023

The Taupō economy continues growing despite the tough economic conditions. Infometrics provisionally estimates that Taupō’s GDP expanded by 1.1% over the year to December 2023, compared with 0.7%pa in the national economy. The district’s growth was broadly based across a wide range of industries, with agriculture and the energy sector being the largest contributors to growth.


Until recently the recovery of the tourism sector has been supporting Taupō’s economy, but the sector is beginning to turn and some of the indicators are negative. The number of guest nights in Taupō were up 12% over the year to December 2023 and employment in accommodation and food services up by 8%pa. However, total tourism expenditure was slightly down over the year reflecting some households tightening their belts and spending less while on holiday. Generally, the gloss is coming off the recovery of tourism as arrivals from key markets such as Australia and China stagnate, and domestic tourism spending is starting to pull back.


The difficult economic environment is reflected in low consumer spending growth of only 2.5%pa, well below inflation at 4.7%. With households spending more to service home loans and on rents they have less to spend at the checkout.


Taupō’s labour market is still strong but showing signs of weakening. Strong employment growth in accommodation and food services was the largest contributor to 3.8%pa growth in total employment of Taupō residents. Despite growth in jobs, the average unemployment rate over the year to December 2023 ticked up to 3.5% from a low of 2.7% over the December 2022 year. The number of Jobseeker Support recipients has been tracking upwards reaching 1,464 in the December 2023 quarter, up from a post-pandemic low of 1,302 in the March 2023 quarter.


Housing affordability in Taupō has continued to improve as household income growth has

outstripped house value growth. In the December 2023 quarter, houses reached their most

affordable value since December 2020. The average Taupō house value was nearly $837,000 in the December 2023 quarter, down from a peak of $942,000 in the June 2022 quarter.



Gross Domestic Product


GDP in Taupo District was provisionally up 1.1% for the year to December 2023, compared to a year earlier. Growth was higher than in New Zealand (0.7%).

Provisional GDP was $3,012 million in Taupo District for the year to December 2023 (2023

prices).

Annual GDP growth in Taupo District peaked at 7.7% in the year to June 2021.



Guest Nights


Total guest nights in Taupo District increased by 12.4% in the year to December 2023, compared to a year earlier. This compares with an increase of 26.6% in New Zealand.

Visitors stayed a total of 1,453,200 nights in Taupo District during the year to December 2023,which was up from 1,292,600 a year ago.



Consumer Spending


Electronic card consumer spending in Taupo District as measured by Marketview, increased by

2.5% over the year to December 2023, compared to a year earlier. This compares with an

increase of 4.3% in New Zealand.



Employment


Employment for residents living in Taupo District was up 3.8% for the year to December 2023,

compared to a year earlier. Growth was higher than in New Zealand (3.1%).

An average of 17,988 people living in Taupo District were employed in the year to December

2023.

Annual employment growth for Taupo District residents peaked at 4% in the year to March

2018.



You can read the full report below including Dairy payout, Unemployment rate, residential & non-residential consents, house values & sales and vehicle registrations.


qem-taupo-district-2023-12
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