Potholes ahead, says ANZ Truckometer
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“Potential pothole ahead, bumpy, tepid economic growth.”
This is the scenario for the New Zealand economy, according to the latest two ANZ Truckometer indices.
The Heavy Traffic Index indicates negative GDP growth for the first quarter of 2013.
The Light Traffic Index, combined with ever-worsening drought conditions, suggests a risk that a negative first quarter may be more than a one-off event.
“The ANZ Light Traffic Index has a six-month lead to GDP growth. It fell 1.6% in February, unwinding its January rise," say ANZ economists.
“Taking the lead into account, this indicator is positive about GDP growth in the fourth quarter, and negative about the first quarter, more positive about the second quarter, but starting to send weaker signals about the third quarter.
“Hence, we continue to talk about a stop-start economy where surges in momentum are followed by slumps, a characterisation driven by the clashing of structural and cyclical forces,” they say.
“In annual growth terms, the message is equally subdued, suggesting growth heading towards zero."