ANZ Truckometer

The ANZ Truckometer is a set of two economic indicators derived using traffic volume data from around the country. 

Traffic flows are a real time and real-world proxy for economic activity - particularly for the New Zealand economy, where a large proportion of freight is moved by road. It represents an extremely timely barometer of economic momentum. The ANZ Heavy Traffic Index shows a strong contemporaneous relationship to GDP, while the ANZ Light Traffic Index has a six month lead on activity as measured by GDP. Using statistical techniques we optimise the ANZ Truckometer indexes to map to quarterly GDP growth.

2023 editions

November 2023: Staying in its lane (PDF 620KB)
The Light Traffic Index (LTI) fell 1.5% m/m in October, a similar fall to September, while the Heavy Traffic Index (HTI) lifted 0.6% m/m after a decent fall in the preceding month. The trend in heavy traffic is fairly flat despite strong population growth, consistent with an economy that is slowing in per capita terms.

October 2023: Spring pothole (PDF 596KB)
The Light Traffic Index (LTI) fell 1.3% m/m in September, while the Heavy Traffic Index (HTI) fell 3.5% m/m. But both were coming off decent lifts the previous month. In trend terms the light traffic is showing more momentum than heavy traffic, probably reflecting strong population growth.

September 2023: A late-winter flurry (PDF 596KB)
The Light Traffic Index (LTI) rose 1.6% m/m in August, while the Heavy Traffic Index (HTI) rebounded 6.2% m/m. So much for heavy traffic starting to signal a marked slowdown! Volatility remains the theme.

August 2023: Heavy traffic sinking (PDF 596KB)
The Light Traffic Index (LTI) rose 0.6% m/m in July, while the Heavy Traffic Index (HTI) fell 3.0% m/m. The fall in the Heavy Traffic Index over the past two months accords with anecdotal evidence of momentum in the domestic economy taking a leg lower. Weaker logging activity likely also played a part.

July 2023: Bumping along (PDF 588KB)
The Light Traffic Index (LTI) rose 0.3% m/m in June, while the Heavy Traffic Index (HTI) fell 1.0%. We now have the full dataset for the June quarter. Traffic data is suggesting low but positive GDP growth in Q2, consistent with our current forecast.

June 2023: Up hill and down dale (PDF 612KB)
The Light Traffic Index (LTI) fell 0.9% m/m in May, while the Heavy Traffic Index (HTI) lifted 1.8%. With two months in, traffic data is suggesting a relatively flat Q2 for economic activity.

May 2023: Heavy weather (PDF 700KB)
The Light Traffic Index (LTI) fell 2.8% m/m in April, while the Heavy Traffic Index (HTI) fell 2.2%. Q1 traffic data suggests a small lift in activity in the quarter, consistent with our forecast. Falling traffic volumes in April marked a weak start to Q2, but weather could again be playing a role.

April 2023: Marching on (PDF 704KB)
The Light Traffic Index (LTI) rose 4.6% in March, while the Heavy Traffic Index (HTI) rose 2.7%. Q1 traffic data will be cyclone affected, but it is suggesting a small lift in activity in the quarter, consistent with our forecast.

March 2023: Spinning (PDF 412KB)
The Light Traffic Index (LTI) rose 2.9% in February, while the Heavy Traffic Index (HTI) fell 0.7%. The traffic data correctly identified a fall in GDP in Q4. Q1 data will be cyclone affected, but so far is consistent with our expectation of a reasonably flat quarter in seasonally adjusted terms.

February 2023: Dropping back to trend (PDF 412KB)
The Light Traffic Index (LTI) fell 0.7% in January, while the Heavy Traffic Index (HTI) lifted 0.8%. Over Q4, the HTI fell 1.5%, while the LTI fell 1% q/q. Our current GDP forecast is for a lift of 0.3%; traffic data suggest downside risk.