New Zealand enters into recession for the first time in a decade
New Zealand’s GDP contracted by 12.2% in the April to June quarter, representing the largest quarterly GDP fall on record in the country, and plunges the country into recession for the first time in a decade.
Attributing the closure of New Zealand’s borders since March 19, national statistics agency Stats NZ spokesman Paul Pascoe said, “Industries like retails, accommodation and restaurants, and transport saw significant declines in production because they were most directly affected by the international travel ban and strict nationwide lockdown.”
According to June quarter labour market statistics provided last month by Stats NZ, more than 15,000 jobs have been lost due to the pandemic, with a record 37,000 in April alone.
Beginning September 21, New Zealand will lift restrictions across the country, which have been imposed since March to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
This will apply to all cities except Auckland, which is the epicentre of a second wave of infections. Social gatherings of more than 10 people are now allowed in Auckland, while masks will still be mandatory on all public transport.
The second-quarter decline follows a -1.6% contraction in the first three months of 2020, although Kiwibank chief economist Jarrod Kerr predicted that a growth surge of 10% will be recorded in the September quarter.
New Zealand will head to the polls on October 17, an election that had been originally scheduled for September 19 but was postponed due to safety concerns surrounding the pandemic.