30 Oct 2013

Christchurch growth stalls

7:42 am on 30 October 2013

The pace of growth in Christchurch is showing signs of easing, suggesting bottlenecks in the rebuild process.

The ASB Cantometer snapshot was steady again in October, sitting at 1. Zero marks the level of activity before the earthquakes.

The Cantometer is designed to capture the pick up in Canterbury activity as the earthquake rebuild progresses over the coming years.

ASB's chief economist Nick Tuffley says after rapid improvement since late last year, the index has remained flat over the past three months, with the growth of building consents stalling.

He says it's possible the stalling of growth is related to the issue the council had with building consents which came to light in June. But over the long term he says the number of consents issued is expected to grow considerably.

He says an influx of people into the area is continuing to put pressure on housing, which has led to rental and house price inflation.

Mr Tuffley says Canterbury consumer confidence was also surprisingly soft over the September quarter, after a long period of strong retail spending growth.