Covid-19 pushes New Zealand into worst recession in years
Industries such as retail, accommodation, restaurants and transport saw significant declines; as did construction and manufacturing at 25.8% and 13% respectively.
The prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, placed New Zealand in a strict one-month lockdown on 26 March. No one was allowed to leave their home unless buying groceries, medicines, or taking an hour of exercise in their neighbourhood.
Fewer than 2,000 people have become infected with the virus in New Zealand while 25 have died. The country’s efforts at containing the disease have been widely praised by epidemiologists around the world.
The finance minister, Grant Robertson, said Thursday’s figures were “expected” and the result of the government’s “go hard, go early” response to the pandemic.
“This result was better than the treasury forecast of 16% and at the lower end of other commentators’ expectations,” Robertson said. “The June quarter includes almost the entire time New Zealand was in alert level 4 which we moved into on March 26 so this result is not surprising.”