NZ ‘heading in the right direction’

The latest Roy Morgan poll shows that a clear majority think that New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’.

“Generally speaking, do you feel that things in New Zealand are heading in the right direction or would you say things are seriously heading in the wrong direction?”

  • Right direction 55.5%
  • Wrong direction 29%

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Meanwhile there has been some positive news over the last week or so.

RNZ: Tax take puts govt back in black

Excluding investment gains and losses, the operating surplus stood at $222 million for the three months to September 30, compared with the $503m loss that had been forecast in May’s budget.

That comes after the government recorded a $1.8 billion surplus in the June 2016 year – four times more than forecast.

The growing economy has again boosted tax revenue for the most recent quarter, which came in above expectations at $17.3bn.

Treasury said the improvement was being driven by a higher corporate tax haul and stronger GST returns from building work and tourists.

Expenses remained close to expectations, at $18.9m.

If investment gains and losses were included, the operating surplus was a larger than expected $2.3bn.

Net debt totalled $63.1bn, or 25 percent of the value of the economy.

Economists are picking the faster growing economy will translate into bigger surpluses in coming years.

RNZ: Unemployment drops to lowest level since 2008

Official figures show the unemployment rate declined to 4.9 percent in the three months to September, or 128,000 people, the lowest rate since December 2008.

That compares to a revised 5 percent jobless rate in the previous June quarter.

“The number of people employed in New Zealand was up 35,000, or 1.4 percent, in the September 2016 quarter,” Statistics New Zealand labour and income statistics manager Mark Gordon said.

“This strong growth in employment, coupled with few unemployed people, pushed the unemployment rate below 5 percent for the first time in nearly eight years.”

Employment outpaced the growth in the number of people entering the workforce, which rose 0.7 percent, or 24,000, to 3.379 million.

Unemployment fell by only 3000.

New Zealand has been ranked the top country in the world for doing business in the World Bank’s 2017 Doing Business Report.

The report, which examines regulations that enhance or constrain business activity, assesses 190 countries and ranks them according on the impacts of their regulatory environment on business.

The report is made up of ten different indicators that affect the life of a business. New Zealand ranks first in half of these including starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit, and protecting minority investors.

The report also notes:

  • New Zealand’s strength in procurement through our online procurement process (GETS)
  • New Zealand is world leading in ease of starting a business with the smallest number of procedures required and the shortest time to start a new business.
  • New Zealand has made the process of paying taxes easier and cheaper.

Newshub: New Zealand best place to live in the world – study

A survey conducted by London-based think-tank the Legatum Institute considered 104 factors before coming to the conclusion that New Zealand should be crowned the top country on its Prosperity Index.

The Index calculates just how much prosperity a country delivers given its wealth – looking at its per capita GDP and the number of people employed, among a myriad of other variables.

The Index said New Zealand was unrivalled in its ability to turn its wealth into prosperity, describing Aotearoa as model country for delivering “wellbeing and wealth”.

We took top spot on account of our social capital – which measures personal relationship and social network support – and economic quality – which looks at macroeconomic indicators, financial foundations for growth and the economy’s openness.

We were also deemed to have the world’s second best business environment and governance, and were third best in personal freedom.

Our success has been put down to a few factors – with our place in the Commonwealth, our strong civil society and wide open markets all significant, the Legatum Institute says.

While there’s obvious room for improvement New Zealand is doing relatively well.

Life expectancy versus health expenditure

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