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Q3 Labour Market Preview: Wages on the rise, OCR going nowhere for a while yet

  • We expect to see HLFS employment rebound from its Q2 dip, with the Q3 unemployment rate expected to ease to 4.7%, its lowest since 2008.
  • Pay equity settlements are expected to push annual LCI wage inflation to 1.9%, a three-year high. The bias is for a modest strengthening in wage inflation despite slowing employment growth.
  • Firming LCI wage inflation should dispel the notion of OCR cuts, whilst considerable uncertainties on the outlook and policy backdrop are expected to encourage continued inaction on OCR settings.

 

 

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Nick Tuffley

ASB Chief Economist

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.

Jane Turner

Senior Economist

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.

Mark Smith

Senior Economist

Mark joined ASB in 2017, with over 20 years of public and private sector experience working as an economist in New Zealand and the UK.

His resume includes lengthy stints at ANZ and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and he has also worked at the Bank of England, HM Treasury and the New Zealand Transport Agency. Mark's areas of specialisation include interest rate strategy, macro-economic analysis and urban economics.

Born and bred in the Waikato, Mark studied at Waikato University where he graduated with a Master of Social Sciences, majoring in Economics.

Mark's key strengths are the ability to use his extensive experience, inquisitive nature, analytical ability, creativity and pragmatism to dig a little deeper and to deliver common sense solutions to tackle complex problems.

When not at work Mark likes to travel, keep fit and spend time with his friends and family.

Kim Mundy

Economist

Kim focuses on the subjects that have the ability to impact most people daily - the housing market, mortgage interest rates and inflation. She forecasts, analyses and provides insight into what these topics mean to readers: the pros and cons for particular mortgage rate options, housing affordability, or how to prepare for inflation. Kim is the author for ASB's Home Loan Rate Report, Home Economics and Housing Confidence Survey.

Kim joined ASB in early 2015 after working as an Economic Consultant. She also interned with the New Zealand Treasury while completing her BA/BCom (1st class honours) in Economics, Statistics and Politics.