1 June, 2011
Positive signs emerging in Canterbury
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has cautiously welcomed a range of data just released by the Ministry of Economic Development showing positive indicators for the Canterbury economy following September and February’s earthquakes.
“What we’re seeing isn’t yet a trend, but it’s clear evidence things are by no means as bad as some doomsayers predicted they would be,” Mr Brownlee said.
“I sense a real air of optimism in the region at the moment.
“My team at the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) are working closely with business groups and they too are reporting strong signals of future growth.”
Among the positive indicators released were:
• Consumer spending has rebounded to 95 per cent of pre-disaster levels, having dropped to 60 per cent immediately following February’s quake;
• Despite a rise in established businesses leaving the region following September’s quake, there has been an increase in new company registrations since January;
• Exports and imports from regional ports have increased;
• And, while the job market suffered post quake it has quickly rebounded, driven in particular by demand for construction and IT roles; April saw an increase in all job advertisements.
Mr Brownlee said while job losses were inevitable given the scale of destruction and disruption to the business community, it was pleasing to see unemployment benefit registrations well shy of the many thousands some people had forecast.
Since the February earthquake the number of Cantabrians on an unemployment benefit has risen by 750. Last week 255 Cantabrians went off benefits into work.
“A number of major businesses have made tangible commitments to the region in recent weeks, such as Coca Cola Amatil and Kathmandu, both of which are investing in new facilities which will employ local people.
“The government’s just announced roll out of ultra fast broadband to Canterbury homes, businesses, schools and healthcare centres will also provide a boost to the region and support recovery,” Mr Brownlee said.
CERA is responsible for rebuilding greater Christchurch and its surrounds, and supporting the welfare of its residents. For more information visit www.cera.govt.nz
- Economic Indicators Post Quake June 11 (pdf 252.57 KB)