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BNZ anticipate "a 0.5% increase in......>

NEW ZEALAND: BNZ anticipate "a 0.5% increase in total employment, as per
Wednesday's Q1 Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). This would sustain annual
growth of 2.3%, and be enough to nibble the unemployment rate back down to 4.1%,
from the 4.3% it jumped to in Q4 of 2018. This is predicated on the
participation rate holding relatively high, at 70.9%. Market expectations are
not quite as robust as ours, all considered. While they have a median identical
to us on quarterly HLFS employment, namely 0.5%, they are 0.1% under on the
annual, with 2.2%. And the market's 70.9% expectation on the participation rate
translates to an unemployment rate of 4.2% for Q1, versus the 4.1% result we
anticipate. In trying to reconcile these slight differences, we wonder if
analysts' estimates of labour force growth are playing a role. We mention this
with Statistics NZ having published its working-age population estimate for the
March quarter. This was notably slower compared to the recent past. Indeed, when
we seasonally adjust this series we get the slowest rate of quarterly increase
since 2013. While this is a curiously slow result, we have to take it as given
for the purposes of calculating the unemployment rate."
MNI London Bureau | +44 0203-865-3809 |
MNI London Bureau | +44 0203-865-3809 |

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