Westpac is forecasting 200,000 jobs will be lost in NZ as a result of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Chief economist Dominick Stephens estimates economic activity during the four week lock-down would decline by a third, despite the government and the Reserve Bank having “done a lot to calm financial markets”.
Stephens said his feeling was that GDP in the three months to June would fall by more than 10%— “which is completely unprecedented in our lifetimes”.
The Westpac diagnosis reinforces the argument advanced by Point of Order in one of its most intently read posts: “After the lock-down the economy’s recovery will be dependent on dairy farmers and their milk”.
This post stressed that when the time comes for the government to start planning how the economy can recover, it should be working hard to ensure the dairy industry, along with other key pillars of the primary sector, gets every encouragement to increase production.
Many of those who read the post agreed that the volume of criticism dairy farmers had to absorb because of the methane emissions of their herds and the dirtying of rivers and streams reached absurd levels and affected industry morale. Continue reading “Resuscitating a virus-ravaged economy – the answer lies in the soil and the exports it generates”