The Whanganui District economy is estimated to contract by 3.4% (↓$62.8m) over 2020 as a direct result of level 3 and level 4 restrictions imposed in response to COVID-19, compared to the national average of 3.7%.

Overall, for levels 1 to 4, the district is estimated to contract by 6.1% over the remainder of 2020, compared to 6.4% across New Zealand.

These estimates are from the July 2020 Whanganui District Economic Impact Assessment (EIA), compiled by economists at Palmerston North City Council and Manawatū District Council. The purpose of this EIA is to provide a baseline for understanding the direct impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on economic activity at the territorial authority and regional scale.

District impacts have been estimated by applying the industry level and broad economic impacts estimated within the RBNZ ‘Economic impacts of COVID-19 containment measures’ publication to local and regional economic structure.

Please note that the estimates are based on the RBNZ’s forecast at the time of publication (6 May 2020), which included assumptions of border restrictions and impacts on economic activity in alert levels 1 and 2.

Given that actual economic impacts may differ from estimated economic impacts, a range of metrics are included in the dashboard section of this website. The dashboards report on a variety of metrics and contains data collected on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. To access a more up-to-date understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on regional and sub-regional economic performance, readers are referred to these data.

It should also be noted that GDP is only one measure of impact. The initial focus on GDP recognises the need to get quick, early reporting on potential impacts completed using a commonly used metric and a recognised methodology. A wider approach to understanding impacts may be used to supplement GDP data in the future.

The dashboard below provides some key data and commentary around the impacts of COVID-19 on the local economy.

While data sets are updated regularly to ensure the information provided is as up-to-date as possible, please be aware that the figures do not represent a real-time snapshot.

Electronic card spending

(% change in the number of transaction compared to same week in 2019)
Source: Marketview
  • Whanganui District
  • New Zealand
Weekly retail electronic card spending is showing signs of a steady recovery, showed an average weekly increase of 10.5% over the month of September 2020, compared to the same weeks in 2019.

Number of Jobseeker Support recipients

Source: Ministry of Social Development
  • Whanganui District
The number of jobseeker support recipients increased 24%, from 2,286 in March 2020 to 2,845 in August 2020.

Trade Me job advertisement index

Index: Feb-20=100 (four-week rolling average)
Source: Sense Partners analysis of Trade Me data
  • Whanganui District
  • Manawatū-Whanganui Region
  • New Zealand
The change in the number of job advertisements on Trade Me showed a strong decrease over the month of September, to levels similar to those during lockdown period of 2020.

Value of building consents issued

(Years ended May, $ million)
Source: Statistics New Zealand
  • Whanganui District
Residential consents slightly decreased to $57 million, down from $58 million over the same period. While, non-residential consents $11 million in the year end August 2020, down from $19 million for the year end August 2019.

Summary Table

as at 30 June 2019

Population

Provisional
Source: Statistics New Zealand

47,300

Year ended March 2020

GDP ($ million)

2019 prices, chain-volume series
Source: Infometrics

$1,894

as at February 2019

Workforce (no.)

Includes an estimate for the self-employed
Source: Infometrics

20,168

Year to March 2019

Median earnings

Full quarter jobs
Source: Statistics New Zealand

$46,660

Year to March 2019

Annual salaries and wages ($ million)

Source: Statistics New Zealand

$845

April 2020

Average house price

Average for past 3 months
Source: QV

$367,740

April 2020

Average weekly rent

Average for past 12 months
Source: MBIE

$320