The COVID-19 lockdowns saw the Ashburton District economy contract slightly on the year before, but not has hard as the national decline, the Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor June 2020
The district's GDP declined 0.7 per cent in the year to June, however the economy had been growing steadily up until March. This decline was ahead of the Canterbury region (-2.3 per cent) and national (-2.1 per cent).
Although most economic indicators were down for Mid Canterbury, non-residential consents, house prices and house sales all grew in the year to June.
Non-residential consents and house sales all declined in Canterbury and New Zealand as a whole, however the Ashburton District saw a 15.3 per cent growth in non-residential consents and 0.2 per cent growth in house sales. House prices were also up 7.5 per cent.
Indicators that took a downward turn included consumer spending, which fell 4.3 per cent in the year to June, compared to a 2.8 per cent fall nationally.
On the employment front, the number of Ashburton District residents accessing Jobkeeper Support grew by 26.4 per cent, equating to an average 556 people receiving the support in the 12 months ended in June. This was higher relative to New Zealand, where the number of Jobkeeper recipients grew 19 per cent.
In positive news for Ashburton's agri-sector, Infometrics predicts a strong dairy pay-out will bring an additional $145 million to the district in the 2019/20 season compared with the previous year's season, and that New Zealand's food exports - which held up reasonably well throughout the lockdowns, will be a "pillar of strength" in the years to come.
The latest Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor is made available through the Ashburton District Council, which contracts Infometrics to gather and deliver economic information on the district, including research, analysis and forecasts.
Council Chief Executive Hamish Riach says reliable and timely economic data is critical to helping local businesses understand the local economic environment and assist their decisions moving forward.
"Our residents, and particularly the business community, need access to the most sound and up-to-date data to help inform their decisions, and we are pleased to make this information freely available on our website."
Access the Infometrics Ashburton District Profile and Quarterly Economic Monitor at ashburtondc.govt.nz/oureconomy