Porirua City Quarterly economic monitor - June 2020

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Overview

Indicator Porirua City Wellington Region New Zealand
Annual average % change
Gross domestic product
-1.4%
-1.5%
-2.1%
Traffic flow
-9.2%
-11.7%
-9.4%
Health Enrolments
1.3%
1.7%
2.5%
Consumer spending
-0.3%
-3.0%
-2.8%
Residential consents
11.5%
19.5%
8.1%
Non-residential consents
-59.0%
26.6%
-8.8%
House prices*
10.5%
10.9%
7.5%
House sales
-23.0%
-11.9%
-6.0%
Tourism expenditure
-4.8%
-14.4%
-12.3%
Car registrations
-14.6%
-12.8%
-19.3%
Commercial vehicle registrations
-7.3%
-21.4%
-24.6%
Jobseeker Support recipients
12.7%
12.5%
19.0%
Level
Unemployment rate
4.7%
3.9%
4.1%
* Annual percentage change (latest quarter compared to a year earlier)

Overview of Porirua City

Porirua’s economy contracted by 1.4% over the year to June 2020, compared to a decline of 2.1% in the national economy. In the June 2020 quarter, the city’s GDP declined by 11.8% compared to the same quarter in 2019, while the national economy contracted by 12.6%.

The number of Jobseeker Support recipients rose by 12.7%, somewhat lower than the 19% increase nationally. According to the Infometrics Local Economic Insights Dashboard, as of 1 June 2020 there were 2,646 Jobseeker Support recipients and 71 COVID Income Relief Payment recipients in the city.

According to data received from Marketview, electronic card spending declined by 0.3% over the year to June 2020, and by 12.8% over the quarter when compared to the June 2019 quarter. Total spending in the June 2020 quarter was $142m, compared to $163m in the June 2019 quarter.

Residential construction activity remained robust, with the number of residential building consents issued in the year to June 2020 increasing by 11.5%, compared to an 8.1% increase nationally. However the value of non-residential consents issued over the year to June 2020 declined by 59%, far higher than the 8.8% decline nationally.

In the housing market, listings and sales declined sharply during the lockdown period, before recovering to more regular historic levels towards the end of the June quarter. However, the volume of house sales over the year to June 2020 declined by 23%, compared to a national decline of 6%, while house prices in the region rose by 10.5% over the same period, compared to a 7.5% increase nationally.

Vehicle registrations declined over the year to June 2020, with passenger vehicle registrations down by 14.6%, compared to a 19.3% decline nationally. Commercial vehicle registrations performed better, declining by 7.3%, compared to the national decline of 24.6%.

Overview of national economy

The New Zealand economy took a severe hit during the June 2020 quarter, as the COVID-19 pandemic saw the country locked down at home for around four weeks at Alert Level 4, before a rapid move down the Alert Levels to Level 1 in early June. The economy has endured a dramatic shift in focus, from life support at Level 4 to an adrenaline rush at Level 1. Yet the immediate economic ramifications are clear to see – economic activity has fallen, nearly 50,000 Kiwis lost their jobs, businesses struggled to cope with lower earnings, and incomes were reduced. The June quarter likely represents the largest single hit to the economy, but the economic scarring and restructuring will continue to occur over the coming years. New Zealand is not out of the woods yet.