Fiscal cannon aims to flatten the economic curve

Facing the greatest economic downturn in a century, Budget 2020 was always going to present a grim picture of rising unemployment, lower economic activity, and ballooning debt. But the Budget also lays a firm foundation for the economy to recover, with spending on areas needed to both respond to, and recover from, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn.

COVID-19 and the Economics of Wellbeing

For the past few months, the Infometrics team has been fully occupied with modelling the effects of the pandemic on the national economy, and on the local economies and individual operations of our clients.

In this article, Alistair Schorn takes a closer look at Infometrics Wellbeing Framework developed in 2019 to evaluate the wellbeing of New Zealand’s communities.

Supporting construction while rectifying state housing

A commitment from the government to build an additional 9,400 state houses over the next two years would mitigate the construction sector’s downturn, helping to prevent a repeat of the massive loss of capacity that occurred following the Global Financial Crisis. It is also an opportunity for the government to make a real difference in housing outcomes for some of society’s most vulnerable people, contributing to better wellbeing in a way that KiwiBuild was never going to do.

Upending the labour market

New Zealand has exited the Level 4 lockdown and is now in the Level 3 “waiting room”. Job losses are expected to keep rising as businesses reassess economic conditions and start to downsize. The structural changes New Zealand’s labour market will experience will be significant, as will the need for government support. In this article, we highlight some of the changing trends in the labour market.

Freight outlook post COVID-19

The movement of freight around the country has changed dramatically since the Level 4 lockdown, both in terms of the content and quantity of cargo. The most notable change, of course, is that the roads are eerily quiet because most human movements have ceased. As for remaining traffic flows, what road freight services are required to allow essential services to keep functioning, and what do we expect to happen to road freight once lockdown restrictions are uplifted? In this article we try shed some light on these questions during these very uncertain times for road freight.