New Zealand has been enjoying a tourism boom, with several years of sharp growth in international visitors. Not only has this made tourism a key industry for New Zealand, but it has now surpassed dairy as the nation’s chief export earner.
For the year ending December 2016, total exports of dairy and related products were $12.05bn, accounting for 17.2% of all exports. Over the same period, tourism (including air travel) was worth $12.17bn, or 17.4% of exports. These compare to 18.2% and 16.9% (respectively) for 2015, showing the increasing importance of tourism to the NZ economy. After these two industries, the next largest export is meat, all the way back on 8.4% of total exports, leaving tourism and dairy well out in front.
Since starting out in 1997 as an economist, it's fair to say Nick has seen a few hair-raising moments over the years, including the Asian Financial Crisis and the Global Financial Crisis.
One of Nick's strengths is his ability to communicate complex ideas in a readily understandable and entertaining way. He thrives on helping people understand the economic environment to help enrich the quality of their business or personal life. He’s proud to lead a team that has won two Forecast Accuracy Awards from Consensus Economics, and has a strong track record with their Official Cash Rate and dairy price forecasts.
Nick grew up in Christchurch and graduated with a Master of Commerce degree from the University of Canterbury. He learned his economic ropes at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand before a long stint as a Senior Economist at Westpac, and joined ASB as Chief Economist in 2007.
Originally hailing from sunny Nelson, Jane moved to Auckland to join the ASB team in 2008. As Senior Economist, Jane's main focus is co-ordinating the team’s macro-economic forecasts. In this key role, Jane was thrilled by the team’s twice consecutive win of the Consensus Economics Forecast Accuracy award.
During her decade-long career in economic forecasting, Jane has gained a thorough knowledge of the New Zealand economy. Her current focus is on New Zealand GDP growth, including both manufacturing and the construction sectors. She has spent time forecasting most sectors of the economy, including inflation, trade, housing, labour and financial markets.
Prior to joining ASB, Jane honed her macro-economic forecasting skills at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Jane is a qualified scarfie, attending Otago University and graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics with 1st class honours. In 2014, she took a career break from ASB to travel the world and learn to snowboard.