Timaru District economy recovers strongly, but impact of Covid-19 not over yet

The Timaru District economy has recovered strongly, with economic activity in the September quarter up 0.8 percent compared to 2019, but economic analysts are warning the impacts of Covid-19 are not over just yet.

In its analysis, commissioned by Venture Timaru, economic analysts Infometrics report the Timaru District economy experiencing a strong recovery in the latest quarter with consumer spending up 6 per cent on 2019, and house values up 5 per cent.

The district's overall economic growth at 0.8 per cent is also positive when compared to the national decline of 3.3 per cent and the Canterbury region decline of just over 3 per cent.

“Feedback from our businesses over the past few months has been pretty positive, and now we’ve got these figures in the quarterly economic report to back this up,” Venture Timaru chief executive, Nigel Davenport, said.

Consumer spending in the Timaru District was up 6 per cent in the September quarter compared to 2019.

“Given the pessimistic outlook that is being reported in other parts of the country and internationally as the impacts of Covid-19 continue to have an effect, it’s very encouraging to see our district is performing so well,” Davenport said.

While consumer spending from locals and visitors was up for the quarter, it was still down by 1.2 per cent over the year to the end of September and was not quite enough to offset the loss of spending as a result of the nationwide alert level four lockdown, he said.

“But the good news is that, although there are ongoing challenges associated with the pandemic that will be with us for a while, we are tracking in the right direction and this is also clear evidence of our local community supporting our local businesses.”

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