29 Aug 2014

Activity hits new high in Canterbury

8:48 am on 29 August 2014

Economic activity in Canterbury rose to a record in August - the highest since the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

A Christchurch building leader says the industry is frustrated with delays in the consents issuing process.

ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said construction had helped drive overall growth in the last year. Photo: PHOTO NZ

ASB Bank's Cantometer index rose to 1.8 in August, building on last month's record of 1.6.

July's growth was based on surging consents for non-residential buildings andnd this month, it is the labour market that is driving the growth.

ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said the improvement in the Canterbury labour market has had an impact on both hours worked and wages, and there are signs that wage pressures are growing.

"Employment in Canterbury is actually up over 11 percent over the last year, and that just gives you an idea of how much the rebuild is really getting up some steam," he said.

"What's happening in Canterbury is influencing the rest of the country as well through the sheer size of the rebuild. We're seeing that draw materials and people into Canterbury to help support that.

"Construction in general is one thing that's been contributing to that fairly strong growth outcome we've been having over the last year."

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