Growing Our Region

Economic Impact Indicators now available online

​Last month saw the launch of the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Indicators website. This website will house information on work the Economic Recovery Taskforce is carrying out, including funding announcements, economic indicators and a dashboard of key statistics. These indicators and statistics will help us to ascertain the economic impact of COVID-19 on our region over a period of time. 
​Economists from Palmerston North City Council and Manawatū District Council have compiled a Regional Economic Impact Assessment for June 2020. The assessment is based on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s ‘Economic impacts of Covid-19 containment measures’ Analytical Notes and applied to the regional economy.

​The Manawatū-Whanganui economy is estimated to contract by 3.4% (↓$382.5m) 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 region is estimated to contract by 6.2% over the remainder of 2020, compared to 6.4% across New Zealand.

Manawatū District Council economist Stacey Bell has compiled the regional statistics, along with Peter Crawford of Palmerston North City Council.
“Our economy was in a strong position prior to the pandemic and the diversity of sectors across the region will protect us from the worst impacts,” she says.
“That said, retail, accommodation and food service sectors have been the most affected with a certain level of uncertainty when looking to the future.”
The full report on economic indicators can be found at, along with the media release, which provides background information on the statistics. 

Regional Dashboard – Key Statistics and Indicators
Given that the impacts of the pandemic continue to change, a regional dashboard with key statistics and indicators is also available on the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Indicators website. These datasets cover areas such as the number of jobseeker support recipients and monthly employment indicators and will be updated regularly. While the information will not be “real time” it will be as up to date as possible.