Treasury’s COVID-19 Economic Dashboard
On Friday, 24 April 2020, Treasury published its latest Weekly Economic Update and COVID-19 Economic Dashboard.
Weekly Economic Update
The Treasury Weekly Economic Update states that:
“High frequency indicators show that economic activity continues to run at much slower levels than normal under Alert Level 4. New Zealand will move to Alert Level 3 from 28 April, where it will remain for at least two weeks. Businesses will be able to resume operations if they are contactless, and a substantial part of the workforce will be able to resume work, but economic activity is expected to run around 25% below normal levels at Alert Level 3. Numbers of Jobseeker Support recipients have risen sharply, and while inflation reached a 9-year high in March, it is set to decline substantially this year. Global dairy prices have fallen.
Global growth in active cases of COVID-19 continues to slow, which has prompted some European countries to come out of lockdown. High-frequency indicators suggest US economic output is 11% lower than last year. China’s GDP was 6.8% lower in the March quarter than the same quarter a year ago. US oil prices went into negative territory this week for the first time in history due to excess supplies and insufficient physical storage capacity. Governments around the world continue to provide further monetary and fiscal stimulus.
On 20 April, the Prime Minister announced that New Zealand has successfully broken the chain of transmission of COVID-19. New cases on 23 April numbered just three, and active cases have declined for two weeks. Seventy percent of COVID-19 cases in New Zealand have now recovered.”
COVID-19 Economic Dashboard – 24 April 2020
The key facts in the COVID-19 Economic Dashboard are as follows:
- Traffic volumes, electricity demand and consumer card spending continue to run at substantially lower levels under Level 4. The number of jobseeker recipients has increased sharply by almost 30,000 since 20 March, indicating that layoffs are underway. Although the value of merchandise exports has held up so far, a large majority of firms expect to reduce employment and exports in the next 12 months.
- In its April forecasts, titled “The Great Lockdown”, the IMF forecast the global economy to contract by 3% in 2020, with advanced economies contracting by 6.1%. Global commodity prices are weakening. US unemployment claims continue to surge massively.
- The scale of fiscal and monetary responses in other countries is similar to New Zealand, with some differences in the balance of household and business support and their delivery timing.
Source document: Treasury.govt.nz
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