New Zealand gets an economic shake-up

September 7, 2010

Every cloud has a silver lining and the recent earthquake is effectively a giant stimulus package to New Zealand's construction industry. The Christchurch earthquake reveals one of the unfortunate realities about the modern obsession with economic growth. That reality is that tragedy can be good for the economy.Economists are speculating how big the boost to New Zealand 's economy will be but all agree the quake could actually be positive for growth next year. There is little doubt the disaster has come at the right time for the construction industry. It'll create tens of thousands of jobs, most of which will have to be sourced from outside of Christchurch . There will be a flood of immigration into the city.Investors in New Zealand 's share market certainly thought it would be a boost for builders - a bounce in the share price of construction firms drove the main share index up more than 1 per cent on Monday, despite a fall in insurance companies.Not only will it boost construction, but the city's retailers should enjoy a boom from residents replacing damaged electronics, furniture, crockery, and all the other items destroyed in the quake. This will give a large boost to household spending and should have some knock-on effects throughout the economy

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