Selwyn growth remains steady

by Kent Caddick

While economic growth in Selwyn has slowed it is still out-performing most other areas in the country, according to the latest quarterly economic monitor from analysts Infometrics.

Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton said the latest results show Selwyn’s economy is growing at a steady rate, and prospects look good over the coming year.

“Job creation and economic optimism is high in the district at present,” Mayor Broughton said. “Increasingly, Selwyn people can live and work in the district as our economy forges ahead. Our continuing population growth and the number of new homes being built is testament to the lifestyle and opportunities that are available in Selwyn.” 

He said future district growth is expected to be driven by the primary sector, taking the place of residential construction. 

According to the Infometrics report, residential building activity has remained steady in Selwyn during the year to the end of September, despite a downturn in other parts of Canterbury.

It shows a total of 410 new residential building consents were issued in Selwyn during the June to September quarter, 53 more than in the previous quarter, and 70 more than in the same quarter last year.

On an annual basis to the end of September the number of consents issued in Selwyn was the same as the previous year, compared to an 18% drop over the wider Canterbury region.

Selwyn also continued to record strong results in retail and tourism spending. In the year to September 2017 tourists spent around $101million in Selwyn, an increase of 13% over the previous year, which follows a 7% increase in the year to June.

A strengthening retail sector saw spending increase by 10% over the year to September, well ahead of the national figure of 3.8%. The report identified Selwyn’s sustained population growth as a key driver of the increase.

Overall, Selwyn’s economy is continuing to perform better than most of its neighbours in many key indicators.

The district Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed growth at 1.6% for the quarter, up from 1.1% in the previous quarter. This is ahead of the Canterbury regional average of 1.3%, but below the national average of 2.5%, however Selwyn’s GDP growth over the past 10 years remains the highest of any city or district in New Zealand.

Unemployment in Selwyn now sits at 2.2% for the year, down from 2.3% a year earlier and well below the New Zealand average of 4.9% and the Canterbury region at 3.8%. 

Infometrics estimates that the total dairy payout in the district will be $26m higher this season than in 2016-17, with beef and lamb prices also high.

Mayor Broughton said the new Southern Motorway extension, which will be completed in early 2020, will also enhance the district’s prospects for long-term economic growth.