Manawatu Quarterly economic monitor - March 2020

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Gross domestic product (provisional)

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Highlights for Manawatu

  • GDP (provisional) in Manawatu was up 1.7% for the year to March 2020 compared to a year earlier. Growth was the same as in New Zealand (1.7%).
  • GDP (provisional) was $6,172 million in Manawatu for the year to March 2020 (2019 prices).
  • Annual GDP growth in Manawatu peaked at 4.2% in the year to December 2018.

National overview

Economic activity dropped significantly in the March 2020 quarter, with lower tourism and trade activity over the first two months of the quarter combining with a collapse in activity at the end of March. Infometrics provisional estimates point towards a 0.6% contraction in activity from the December quarter, taking economic growth over the 12 months to March 2020 to 1.7%pa. Lower tourism activity, softer freight volumes, and empty construction sites were key drivers of the decline, with unsurprisingly stronger government administration activity keeping activity from dropping lower. With the Level 4 lockdown only captured in the last 6 days of March, estimates for June will be far more dire.