Timaru District records fastest economic growth since 2015

Economic growth in Timaru District is the fastest it has been since 2015, and the good news for the district is that the positive growth is expected to continue at a healthy pace over the year ahead, according to the latest Quarterly Economic Data Report released today.

The report prepared for economic development agency Aoraki Development by Infometrics and shows that the Timaru District economy grew 2.2% in March 2018 year, which is slightly above the average for the Canterbury region (2.1%) in the same period.

The report says that with more people in work, more people are spending, which is reflected in higher retail sales. In the March 2018 year, retail trading activity rose 4.5% from a year earlier. The number of Jobseeker Support recipients has plunged 5.9% since the March 2016 year, compared to a national decline of 0.5%.

“It’s a great report on Timaru District’s economic performance and everyone should be heartened by the prediction that the healthy growth is expected to continue over the next year,” says Aoraki Development chief executive Nigel Davenport.

“We’ve got more people working, more people spending in retail and on cars and commercial vehicles and strengthening commodity prices – it’s all good news,” he said.

“It’s not just about the spending potential of those in work, but also the positive, vibrant atmosphere that this helps create, which helps make Timaru District a great place to be.”

The report also shows total tourism expenditure in Timaru District increased by 6.1% in the year to March 2018, with the total spend in the period approximately $219m, up from $206m a year ago. Total guest nights in Timaru District also increased by 4.2% in the year to March 2018, higher than the national figure which showed an increase of 3.9% in New Zealand.

“With low unemployment and growth forecasted to continue this report highlights the importance of the work Aoraki Development is doing alongside business in the workforce area. There’s a real need for us to work collectively as a district to attract the right people with the right skills to do the right jobs.” says Davenport.

“An example of this in action is the different industry sectors in our Business Connection Groups now collaboratively promoting their sectors career information and opportunities, via our Youth Transition Initiative, directly into schools to our students, their parents and teachers. Providing clear pathways for our youth into local business and industry helps them make the best-informed decision as possible on their important next step. We’re all working to open their eyes to what great roles and plentiful career opportunities there actually are here locally.”

Read more on our Economy page.