Kiwis tighten wallets this Christmas
Wed, 03 Oct 2012 1:43p.m.
Christmas stockings across the country this silly season will be lighter than in 2011 with two-thirds of Kiwis saying they're unlikely to fork out on non-essentials such as gifts, a survey has found.
Results of the Dun and Bradstreet consumer survey, released today, show just over half of Kiwis are worried about their financial situation - up 5 percent on the same time last year.
Two in three said they were unlikely to make non-essential purchases over the October to December period and just 5 percent said they were more likely to treat themselves over this period.
In addition, 63 percent of people said they would avoid making major purchases, while nearly a fifth said they planned to delay buying something they'd had their eye on.
Dun and Bradstreet general manager John Scott says the figures show Kiwis are saving more and are also tightening their wallets due to higher costs of living.
Between 900 and 1000 people took part in the online survey.
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4/10/2012 1:50:40 p.m.
In NZ we pay international prices.Our dairy prices are set by international prices.Our petrol is set by international prices.Our horticulture is set by international prices.Our fisheries are set by international prices.So basically almost everything we buy is set by international prices. What is made here, we also export, so its price reflects international prices.We live well away from everyone else, so we have some of the highest transportation costs, which add to our prices.The US is a large oil producer, and that lowers their oil based prices including petrol. The US is the largest grain grower, which lowers their grain costs, ie most food.We import grain from the US, and with TPP we now have better access for our exporters to the US where we were previously blocked.We cant do much about transportation costs, or international prices. We can do something about our RMA to lower our housing costs. For all the hype, our food prices not bad and quite affordable.Even Labour considers our min wage too high, hence their devaluation/inflation policy like Obamas print money to lower real wages to lower exporters costs so they can be more competitive. Explain how devaluation and inflation can increase real wages when they do the opposite. Our dollar still lower than our trading partners, be it US/UK/EU/Aus/Japan (China tends to use US$).Address the issue of our wages being too high, hence Labour wanting to devalue the dollar and give us inflation. Wages growth should reflect increases in productivity, not just an increase of sloops in the trough for no improvement. NZ in some areas has some of the lowest productivity in the world, and we need to address that. Our dairying is the opposite, the most efficient in the world, hence Fonterra profitable and our exporting that knowledge.
4/10/2012 7:21:44 a.m.
@MIKE - A dollar to dollar comparison is simplistic at best. I suspect you are trying to obfuscate the issue.
You refer to the gross amount, which takes no account of different tax deductions which vary between countries. Nor do you take into account the very real differences in the relative cost of living - which is a problem in New Zealand as the rising cost of living far outstrips wage increases.
The U.S. may seem to have a lower minimum wage compared to New Zealand if you just compare dollar to dollar, but the U.S also has a lower cost of living. Taking that into account, the U.S. has a higher relative minimum wage than New Zealand.
3/10/2012 5:15:17 p.m.
Min wage in NZ is $13.50, which in 2011 was 9th highest. with the world recession, others above us have dipped further. Labour is saying our exporters cant compete with the high NZ wages, like the min wage. Ie we need to find another option than raise the wages.The US is off printing money to lower their dollar and reduce their real wages. How much higher is the US min wage that they are doing this? Well $7.25 US is the US min wage, which works out around $9 NZ, and $13.50 is 50% higher than the US min wage! But still the US considers their min wage too high, hence the devaluation and inflation to reduce its real value.We have Labour here saying we need to devalue and increase inflation so our current $13.50 NZ min wage worth about $10 NZ. This is at odds with thier calls to raise the min wage to $15 and they are somewhat quiet on how lowering real wages will improve things for exporters and low incomes?We can't raise the min wage as its already too high. So we need to approach it from another direction if we want to improve our standard of living. Food costs are fairly stable, and affordable - so forget the nightmare of no GST on food which will do little.We do have a housing shortage, and with it the higher house and rental costs associated with that shortage. If we really want to improve the standard of living for the lower income earners, we need to address the housing shortage which has been caused by Labours RMA.Take the wining 'The Block' house which was old, renovated, but still old, and $961,000! Thats too much for an old house. Lets get the RMA opened up so we can build more affordable housing, and lower the house/rent prices.We also need to change attitudes. Eg NZ has affordable housing, but Kiwis turn up their noses at it for it not being good enough. eg small 1 room apartments central Auckland (shown on Campbell Live) with shared facilities for $40-50,000 work out around $50 /week to service a mortage.
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