9 Dec 2014

Traffic suggests economy flattening

2:27 pm on 9 December 2014

An analysis of traffic flows suggests economic growth may be flattening.

Auckland traffic

The Truckometer measures traffic flows on certain roads and calculates the economic impact. Photo: Photo NZ

ANZ Bank's Truckometer measures the traffic flow on certain New Zealand roads to provide a quick snapshot of how the economy is doing, in terms of production and momentum.

Its heavy traffic index, which is closely correlated to current overall economic growth, fell 2.9 percent in November, but the bank says the trend remains upward.

However, the light traffic index, which usually indicates how the economy will perform in the coming months, fell 1.4 percent.

That is its first fall since June and the largest monthly fall since the middle of last year.

ANZ economist Sharon Zöllner said the weakness in November follows two months of solid growth.

She said it is a reminder that the economy can't sustainably grow at 1 percent a quarter.

"Both heavy traffic and light traffic increased in November, but less than they normally would. So in the seasonally adjusted terms, which is what we tend to focus on, both the indexes fell," she said.

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