As the lockdown continues, Te Waka, with the support of Waikato Regional Council Economist Blair Keenan, has been collating data to gauge what is happening in the Waikato economy.
From this week, Te Waka will begin publishing a range of indicators from a variety of sources to track our region’s progress.
It will be no surprise that many of the charts paint a painful picture. Consumer spending in the region has crashed, with only supermarkets, pharmacies and fuel sales allowed to continue to operate, albeit with new physical distancing requirements. Movement around the region – both by air and by road – has also slumped. One brighter spot for the region is agriculture. Most of our dairy and meat produce is exported, and provisional data for New Zealand to the end of March shows that both of these have held up well – even increasing in terms of value compared with the previous year. Forestry exports, on the other hand, are well down on a year ago, although total exports remain strong. A decline in the New Zealand dollar against the key US and Chinese currencies since the beginning of the year should help on this front too.