Checking the pulse of Rotorua business

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The operating environment that Rotorua businesses find themselves in has changed dramatically compared with the first Pulse survey conducted in April according to the region’s most recent six-monthly Business Pulse Report.

The Rotorua Business Pulse programme is a joint initiative between RotoruaNZ and Rotorua Business Chamber. The programme provides Rotorua business leaders (owners, CEOs, GMs) an opportunity to share their thoughts on the local economy and how their business is faring across key metrics.

This survey was in field from 6-23 October 2022 and was completed by 82 Rotorua businesses. It is the second survey in the programme. The first survey was conducted in April 2022 and the programme will continue to run on a six-monthly basis.

According to the report, macro conditions have shifted, from being Covid-19-centric and the resulting direct impacts of border uncertainty and operating restrictions, to being more complex due to global inflation, geopolitical forces and worldwide talent shortages.

Businesses will be watching debt levels closely as central banks around the world hike interest rates in an attempt to curb inflation. However, low rates of unemployment have negated the impact of these hikes, leading to steeper rate climbs.

Looking to 2023, homeowners refixing mortgages will be faced with higher interest rates, and consumers grappling with the continued rise in cost of living will likely see a rapidly reducing disposable income and spending propensity.

The threat of an economic downturn in 2023 is very real according to economists, which, coupled with inflation levels, will lead to a challenging business operating environment.

At a local level, confidence has been buoyed by the opening of borders and the return of international tourists, bringing with them not only economic activity but vibrancy and optimism.

The newly elected Council and mayor have added to this positivity, providing the business community with a much needed reset and way forward after an immensely challenging few years.

Rotorua business confidence has shifted in the right direction as international visitors return and a new Council takes the reins. Macro challenges weigh on businesses looking out to 2023 as staffing and inflationary pressures continue.


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