Infometrics April newsletter
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April 2020

The resurgence of COVID-19 in the community has seen Auckland move back to Alert Level 3, and the rest of New Zealand move to Level 2 – both of which will have substantial economic ramifications. Tourism is again a key area of focus, and Nick Brunsdon looks into how domestic travel will respond.

Complementing our tourism analysis, Brad Olsen has looked at what the greater restrictions mean as New Zealand moves ahead, and how the wider economy is being impacted.

Our latest Quarterly Economic Monitor was released last week, providing the first comprehensive analysis of regional economic changes so far during the pandemic. Our high-level analysis shows a severe hit to the regions.

The Infometrics Board has some new faces and a new Chair, as we farewelled co-founder and former Chair Andrew Gawith.

For our Chart of the Month, Paul Barkle digs into where travellers who are still in New Zealand are situated.

And finally, we outline how to go about organising a presentation from Infometrics, to help inform decision makers and hear about the factors that will determine New Zealand’s future.

Government can’t afford a go-slow on recovery
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With the government turning its mind to how New Zealand can best recover from a severe economic downturn, an ability to rapidly deploy and execute recovery policies will prove critical to success. But our analysis shows that, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, other government policies such as the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) haven’t been able to move at pace. A greater focus on local decision making, with a coordinated and integrated approach, provides the best chance for the Provincial Growth Fund to be reimagined as a Regional Resilience Fund.
Examining the NZ industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic
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With businesses struggling to survive, many workers will find themselves out of work, and the unemployment rate is set to rise to multi-decade highs of around 10%. In this article, we explore what industries are set to see the largest declines in employment across New Zealand over the next year.
Vehicle registrations set to crash, but how bad will it get?
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Back during Christmas 2017, car dealers must have had plenty to celebrate. Riding the crest of a wave of population growth and a prosperous economy, spurred on by the National-led Government’s open-door policy towards international migration, an unprecedented 274,000 new and used cars had been newly registered in New Zealand in the previous 12 months.
Primary sector to provide support for the economy through COVID-19 downturn
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.
Media Release: Recovery likely to be slow, even with bold government initiatives
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The New Zealand economy faces up to two years of consolidation following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Infometrics’ latest forecasts released last week. Even with massive government intervention to cushion the downturn and stimulate a recovery, there is no way the economy can quickly and completely bounce back from the restrictions currently in place. Instead, the structural changes the New Zealand economy is undergoing will establish a new “normal” operating environment for businesses.
Chart of the month: COVID-19 Infections
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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.