Roosting chorus: The Harvey Norman effect

Retail sales strong in Sept qtr; Hardware sales up 16%; electrical goods sales up 25%; New projects fast-tracked using Covid-19 Act; Swarbrick & Genter get Revenue & Finance roles

TLDR: PM Jacinda Ardern again ruled out a Capital Gains Tax today and repeated the Government wanted to help first home buyers get deposits. She also hoped banks would funnel funds into the productive sectors.

I asked Ardern if the Government planned to increase its plan to build 8,000 extra houses over the next four years in response to the latest crisis. She said there were constraints with skilled workers that meant the industry was going as fast as it could (ie no extra supply response from the Government) The only response, with extra first home buyer deposits, would increase demand.

Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker also announced Cabinet had used Covid-19 fast-track rules to approve three private projects — a Dominion Rd commercial and residential development, an Ohinewai foam factory and a housing development near Nelson — which would employ 2,000 jobs during construction, 200 jobs after completion and build 160 homes. Civil contractors are still waiting on green lights for major roading projects in the Manawatu and Taranaki. Parker said they may be fast-tracked at a later date.

‘Hey Joe’: Elsewhere, Ardern spoke on the phone to US President-elect Joe Biden this afternoon. He asked for advice on dealing with Covid-19. Meanwhile, retail sales figures showed spending in hardware, furniture and electronics are going gangbusters.

In a slight reshuffle, the Greens shifted finance from James Shaw to Chloe Swarbrick (Revenue) and Julie-Anne Genter (Finance). In Australia, New South Wales mandated the use of QR codes in shops and bars, and opened up its border with Victoria (ABC Australia).

In our political economy today

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In the global political economy today

Have a great evening

Ngā Mihi

Bernard

PS. Thanks to the Auckland Zoo for today’s Kākā pic.

PPS: Some fun things

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