Timaru's economy in good shape, says banker

JACK MONTGOMERIE
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2014

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A top investment banker is optimistic about South Canterbury's economy.

Speaking after a presentation to local investors on the investment environment, Craigs Investment Partners' head of private wealth research, Mark Lister, said South Canterbury was "in good shape".

He believed economic activity in the region was "ticking over nicely", and that South Canterbury had not experienced problems associated with soaring house prices like New Zealand's major centres.

Extra business for PrimePort Timaru following expansion at the Port of Tauranga was an extra bonus, he said.

Lister said New Zealand was "lucky" to have low debt, lowering unemployment and strong export and share markets, but warned the country's economy could be in a temporary "sweet spot" due to the Christchurch rebuild and high dairy prices, which had recently taken a hit.

Conflict abroad and New Zealand's coming election were major points of uncertainty, he said.

Lister said rising housing costs remained a persistent problem for New Zealand's economy, especially in Auckland, where the ratios of house prices and rents to people's incomes had "both blown out".

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- The Timaru Herald

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