Truckometer slows but still strong
Heavy and light vehicle traffic volumes slowed in November, but both are still on a "solid upward trend" according to ANZ's latest Truckometer.
The ANZ Heavy Traffic Index fell a seasonally adjusted 1.5 per cent in November after earlier gains, with heavy-traffic flows on 10 out of 11 roads dropping during the month.
But ANZ said heavy-traffic flows were still on a strong upward trend consistent with strong momentum in the economy.
Heavy traffic includes vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes and the index tends to move at the same time as shifts in total economic growth.
The light-vehicle traffic index was down 1.1 per cent in November, after a 1.8 per cent gain in October.
ANZ said the upward trend in the light-vehicle traffic volumes suggested economic "momentum" would continue into next year, but with slower growth in the first half of 2014.
Light traffic includes cars and vans, and tends to give a six month lead on GDP growth.
The indexes gave an early indication that September quarter economic growth was likely to be strong. The official September quarter GDP figures are due out later this month.
After such a strong September quarter in traffic flows there was always a risk of a "recoil" in the December quarter, ANZ said.
Factors such as the timing of dairy exports would throw around the quarterly numbers.
"We prefer to focus on the over-riding story of a strong second half of the year," ANZ said.