Infometrics March newsletter
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March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to restrict the New Zealand economy’s performance, as we face a four-week period of lockdown at COVID-19 Alert Level 4. At Infometrics, we’re continuing to analyse developments, and are providing expert advice to local decision makers about how these events will affect local economies. See our COVID-19 page for more.

In this month’s newsletter, Brad Olsen continues his coverage of the pandemic and its economic effects, detailing how the lockdown is designed to ensure a sharper, V-shaped, recovery rather than an L-shaped slump. He also looks at New Zealand’s food industry, noting that there’s no need to panic buy when workers are still producing food.

In a break from wall-to-wall COVID-19 coverage, Dr Adolf Stroombergen, Infometrics’ Chief Economist, looks at a tax and rebate policy as part of the ongoing debate about carbon taxing.

We look at how Infometrics is planning to support clients and businesses while the team is Working From Home (WFH), through Webinars and other means.

Finally, Andrew Beattie rounds out the newsletter with our regular Chart of the Month, where he examines the growing number of COVID-19 cases, which we’ll update regularly.

Economy poised to shut down to save lives
The COVID-19 pandemic has sent New Zealand into a full-scale lockdown. In doing so, the government is working to flatten the curve and ensure that lives are saved. There is no escaping that this decision puts the economy into hibernation for the next month. Most of what will be achieved in the next four weeks will be maintaining an economic heartbeat while stamping out the virus as much as possible. If this plan is successful, New Zealand can emerge from the crisis sooner rather than later and thereby maximise its chances of regaining momentum in the economy.
NZ continues to produce and import food, so there’s no need to panic buy
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New Zealanders have overrun supermarkets across the country over the last week, with the COVID-19 pandemic inviting panic buying and fear over access to the basics. However, our high-level analysis shows that food production and food imports remain resilient.
A More Appealing and Effective Price on Carbon
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In 2016 a large group of international economists including four former Federal Reserve Chairs and 27 Nobel laureates made a number of recommendations on climate policy. At Infometrics we have explored the effects of a ‘tax and rebate’ policy with a detailed model of the New Zealand economy.
Infometrics webinars, video presentations, and online communications
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We will be hosting regular webinars (web seminars) for our clients. If your organisation would like to book a tailored Webinar, focused on your local area, sector or industry, we have time slots available.
Chart of the Month: Buckle up, New Zealand’s not far behind
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Comparing the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Zealand to some of our key international partner economies can help us to understand how we’re tracking and what might be ahead for us. There’s no one correct chart to show how COVID-19 is affecting the world, but we hope this chart provides a different way of looking at the numbers.