And what they are saying is the New Zealand economy may be losing some grunt.
"If we do not see a significant bounce-back the trend will soon start to decline more markedly.”
There are two indexes in the ANZ Truckometer suite. The Heavy Traffic Index (mostly trucks, a few buses) tells us what is happening in the economy now. The Light Traffic Index (mostly cars, some vans) leads the economy by six months.
Let’s start with the trucks.
The ANZ Heavy Traffic Index was correct in foretelling September quarter GDP growth would be modest (it came out at 0.3 per cent quarter on quarter). With the weak December month read dragging down the December quarter, it is now suggesting a pretty limited bounce-back in the last three months of the year.
The Heavy Traffic Index is pretty volatile but once the data is smoothed to reduce noise, the recent fall doesn’t look like a big deal particularly. However it is pretty clear if we do not see a significant bounce-back the trend will soon start to decline more markedly.