NEW ZEALAND PLUNGES INTO RECESSION AS ECONOMY SHRINKS RECORD 12%
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand’s economy plunged into recession for the first time in a decade on Thursday (Sep 17), posting a record contraction in the June quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Statistics Agency said the 12.2 percent fall in quarterly GDP is by far the largest on record in New Zealand.
The reporting period covers April to June, coinciding with a strict lockdown that began in late March and began easing in late May.
Stats NZ spokesman Paul Pascoe said the closure of New Zealand’s borders since Mar 19 had also had a huge impact on some sectors of the economy.
The second-quarter decline follows a 1.6-per cent contraction in the first three months of 2020, confirming widespread expectations that New Zealand is in recession.
However, the 12.2-per cent figure was below the 16 percent predicted by the government this week and fell well short of the 23.5 percent forecast in the budget last May.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the better-than-expected outcome was due to policies implemented by Ardern’s government, which will go to the polls seeking a second term on Oct 17.