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'NZ's Sexiest Economist' - voting is open now

Matt Nolan, Infometrics

ECONOMIC IDOL: Vote for the country's sexiest economist

Crampton lines up the beer goggles

A Valentines Day poll seeks the country’s sexiest practioner of the dismal science.

Berl economist hits back at alcohol report critics

 The lead author of the Berl report on the social costs of alcohol says the criticisms of it are unfair and misplaced.

Adrian Slack says Berl was only commissioned by the Ministry of Health and ACC to look at the social costs and not the benefits of alcohol, and would have needed an additional $135,000 were it to extend its remit to examining the benefits and policy implications.

Unemployment 'only' 5% as frustrated jobseekers give up

New Zealand’s unemployment rate continued to increase in the last quarter, rising from 4.7% to reach a six-year high of 5%, Statistics New Zealand announced today.

The result from the household labour force survey is better than economists predicted – most were forecasting unemployment to go to about 5.3%.

The male unemployment rate increased by 0.5%, to 5.1%, while the female unemployment rate rose to 4.9%, from 4.8% in the December 2008 quarter.

The number of unemployed has increased by 7,000 during the March 2009 quarter to reach 115,000.

Economists pleasantly surprised by rate cut

The chief economists at New Zealand’s largest banks reacted supportively to Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard’s aggressive official cash rate cut this morning, although they stressed that his reasons for doing so are not good.

“Dr Bollard’s come riding into town on a big white horse” Westpac bank chief economist Brendan O’Donovan says.