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Analysing wage and price dynamics in New Zealand

Ashley Dunstan, Troy Matheson, Hamish Pepper

This paper examines the relationship between wages and consumer prices in New Zealand over the last 15 years. Reflecting the open nature of the New Zealand economy, the headline CPI is disaggregated into non-tradable and tradable prices. We find that there is a joint causality between wages and disaggregate inflation. An increase in wage inflation forecasts an increase in non-tradable inflation. However, it is tradable inflation that drives wage inflation. While exogenous shocks to wages do not help to forecast inflation, the leading relationship from wages to non-tradable inflation implies that monitoring wages may prove useful for projecting the impact of other shocks on future inflation.