New Zealand: The economy sinks in Q1 as Omicron variant spreads
GDP decreased 0.2% in seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter terms in Q1 amid the spread of the Omicron variant and border restrictions. The result followed Q4 2021’s 3.0% expansion. Meanwhile, on an annual basis, GDP expanded 1.2% in Q1, following Q4’s 3.1% increase.
The quarterly downturn came on the back of a marked cooling in both domestic and external demand. Private consumption rose 4.6% (Q4: +5.5% s.a. qoq), while fixed investment growth fell to 1.2% in Q1 (Q4: +12.1% s.a. qoq). Moreover, government spending growth moderated (Q1: +2.0% s.a. qoq; Q4: +4.1% s.a. qoq).
Meanwhile, exports fell at a sharper rate of 14.3% in Q1 (Q4: -2.0% s.a. qoq), while imports shrank 2.8% in the quarter, after increasing 3.2% in Q4.