18 Jun 2019

Tuesday's business news: What you need to know

4:25 pm on 18 June 2019

Latest - The most recent set of consensus forecasts point to a greater slowdown in the economy than previously forecast.

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New Zealand export growth is expected to slow due to the ongoing US-China trade dispute. Photo: 123RF

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research compiles various agencies' forecasts and comes up with an average.

Its canvas of the market for the year to June shows the outlook for the economy revised downwards in light of weaker-than-expected economic data.

It's also lowered its forecasts for export growth, likely because of uncertainty over the trade war between US and China.

NZIER notes that slowing growth in China has the potential to weigh on demand for New Zealand exports, both directly from China and indirectly from Australia.

However, the outlook for domestic growth is looking more positive, with strong migration inflows and a robust labour market expected to support household spending.

But the consensus forecasts are for growth of about 2.5 percent in the coming year against 2.9 percent in the previous survey, however, unemployment stays steady at around 4 percent and inflation edged higher to around 2 percent.

Desktop computer orders on the decline

In the first quarter of this year, shipments for PC's fell, dragging year on year growth to a decline of 8.3 percent, according to the technology research firm IDC.

The decline comes after two consecutive quarters of growth.

IDC predicts demand for traditional computers to continue to fall this year.

Consumer confidence falls again but still some optimism

Consumers remain downbeat about the future of the economy, but are more upbeat about their own financial situations.

The Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index eased 0.3 points to 103.5 in the June quarter, after a 5.3 point fall in the previous quarter.

A reading above 100 signifies optimism and the historical average of the series is 111.8.

Read here for more on this story.

Emirates ditches straws

The airline has stopped using plastic straws on its flights, and will get rid of plastic bags from August after a review of its waste.

It says the changes will stop about 81.7 million single-use plastic items from going to landfill each year.

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