It’s been a long year with not a whole lot of cheery news, as COVID-19 upended plans and lives across the globe. In an attempt to bring some light-hearted fun as we hurtle towards the end of 2020, we’ve focused the Chart of the Month on some of our best friends: Dogs.
Since the borders were closed in March, we have consistently argued that an increase in spending by New Zealanders on domestic holidays could never make up for the loss in revenue from foreign visitors. Data for 2019 shows that international tourism was worth $16.0b to the New Zealand economy, while Kiwis spent $6.2b on overseas holidays.
It’s abundantly clear that the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn isn’t hitting all groups equally, with job losses more concentrated among groups like Māori, young people, and women. Infometrics analysis has also determined that many who are facing job losses are likely to be renters.
The New Zealand border has been closed since March, and with it, international tourism has all but vanished. International arrivals in July were 98% lower than a year ago, with only 3,521 arrivals. But even though there aren’t many new visitors arriving, there are quite a few still in New Zealand. Data published by StatsNZ estimates there to be somewhere between 90,000 and 140,000 international tourists currently residing across the country, which has implications for employment and support needs.
Over the past three months, much of New Zealand’s workforce (including the Infometrics team) has become far more accustomed to working from home, and to communicating with clients and teammates via Zoom, Teams, and other platforms.
One of the great things about working at Infometrics is the view of Wellington Harbour from our office window. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it for over two months, and don’t expect to for a little while longer. So I thought I’d cheer myself up by recreating it in a scatterplot – more Art than Chart!
New Zealand has almost completed a month of Level 4 lockdown, aimed at halting the spread of COVID-19. And it seems to be working! New Zealanders have endured incredibly tough restrictions, including requirements to stay home, as well as increased risks for essential workers as they ensured that New Zealand remained fed and looked after.
The past decade has seen infrastructure investment in our three waters heavily watered down. Compounding the issue, over recent years, New Zealand has had surging population growth. The lack of investment, coupled with intense demand growth, has been placing huge pressure on our pipes.
Every time we have local elections there is lots of talk about the low levels of turnout, and rightly so. In 2016, turnout was up nationally to an unimpressive 42%. The 2019 preliminary results from Local Government NZ show a drop in national turnout to 41.4%. At a slightly more detailed level, “metro” council areas followed a similar zigzag of up in 2016 and down in 2019. Interestingly “provincial” and “rural” council areas showed an inverse zigzag, with decreased turnout in 2016 and increased turnout in 2019.
Between September 1977 and March 1991, Japanese house prices rose 83% in real terms, or at an average real rate of 4.6%pa. Then things got ugly…