Wednesday, 25th November, 2020

One of the (many) surprising aspects of the economic impact of COVID-19 is how well NZ goods exports have held up relative to goods imports during the pandemic. As an exporter, NZ is vulnerable to a fall in global demand – although one of the key lessons is that the fall in demand has not been evenly shared across economic sectors. With countries resorting to lockdowns once the virus spread escalates, demand for types of goods have shifted. For example, from eating out to eating at home – putting pressure on wholesale supply chains to quickly divert food from restaurants to supermarkets and meal kit delivery services. Likewise, less money is spent on commuting, but more money has been spent on technology to improve the home office. With NZ’s exports of goods skewed toward food, and given the world still needs to eat, NZ exports held up relatively well to date. In contrast, NZ’s imports of goods plunged in April and have been slow to recover – and will only return to year-ago levels in November (see NZ trade indicators in our weekly chart pack). Read the full report here.