The massive increase in tourist numbers coming to New Zealand between the Global Financial Crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic is well documented, lifting from under 2.5m in 2008 to 3.9m in 2019. But it’s perhaps less well-known that agriculture and forestry exports held their own during this period, with their share of total exports increasing from 44% to 49%.
New analysis from economic consultancy Infometrics reveals billions of dollars of untapped potential for Kiwi exporters for new markets and products across the globe.
The loss of international tourism has seen dairy regain its position as New Zealand’s largest export. Among the upheaval of COVID-19 in 2020, New Zealand’s primary sector has held up well, providing high-quality food and beverage products to both the local and overseas markets.
From the beginning of the COVID-19 recession, we’ve expected regions with large food-based primary sectors to weather the economic storm better than those that are highly exposed to international tourism.
Although the movement of people across the globe has come to a near standstill, New Zealand’s exports mean that we still have a large connection to the outside world. Revenue from goods exports are income for many New Zealanders and have thankfully been quite resilient to the effects of COVID-19. It’s hard finding cheerful good news stories during a global pandemic and subsequent global recession.
The rapid deterioration in economic conditions across New Zealand, and expectations for a long, slow, recovery, signal a tough few years for the economy. But New Zealand’s strong primary sector, and position as a food exporter, is likely to provide a solid foundation for regional New Zealand.
The COVID-19 threat continues to loom over the economy, with a rise in international cases adding weight to the view that the impact will be longer than originally hoped. New Zealand exports continue to be under pressure, and now supply chain issues are becoming more worrying.
The latest Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor suggests that regional economies may be about to turn a corner, with slight improvements in some indicators showing that renewed strength may be on the cards in 2020. However, the risks associated with the COVID-19 outbreak threatens to derail any rebound, with expectations for softer export earnings in the first half of 2020.
The emergence of a new coronavirus strand, COVID-19, has potentially upended both the global and domestic economic outlook for 2020. Although it’s still too early to fully evaluate how damaging the outbreak may be, early signs are for a much larger economic hit than first anticipated, with a growing risk that New Zealand could experience a recession in 2020.
The latest Infometrics Quarterly Regional Economic Monitor points towards a slowing economy, even as growth remains broad-based across the country. Construction activity continues to grow at pace as New Zealand attempts to make up the shortfalls in housing, services, and infrastructure from rapid population growth over previous years.