Economic activity continues to increase. But indicators are still pretty volatile, as we grope towards a new normal.
Sense Partners are showing the tracker data on a weekly average basis to show trends.
Electricity use is running at around 3% ahead of last year, suggesting businesses are back up and running.
But 30% lower traffic volumes suggest we are still working differently. Auckland and Wellington are most affected. We can also see people going to work later in the morning, and coming home earlier. Working from home – according to internet use – is still running about 30% ahead of pre-Covid levels. Overall internet use is down.
Businesses are cautiously getting back towards normal. More businesses are listing new job ads on Trade Me, and is now back to around 80% of normal.
Job searching is above normal – unsurprising given recent job losses. Encouragingly, Jobseeker Benefit numbers rose by just 384 in the week ending 22 May, the best since mid March. The first wave of job losses is over (around 45,000 cumulative increase in Jobseeker benefits). But the second wave may be starting, reflected in ‘unemployment’ rising in google trends and spate of job cutting announcements from high profile businesses over recent days.
Despite job losses, consumer spending has rebounded to normal. Although a big chunk appears to be catchup spending still.
Manu Caddie is Kaihautu of Innovation & Regulation at Rua Bioscience