Horowhenua’s economy took a hit due to COVID-19 in the June 2020 quarter, but it’s slowly clawing its way back. Although we bounced back strong in the September 2020 quarter, we have had a few mixed results in the December quarter.
Source: Infometrics Horowhenua District Quarterly Economic Monitor 2020-12
We have not yet made up for the falls of the June 2020 quarter even though GDP grew by 1.2% in the Infometrics December estimates, compared to the same quarter in 2019. Year-end numbers showing that Horowhenua’s GDP was down 1.5% compared to the national average of -2.6%, which we are looking for these numbers to recover in the March 2021 quarter.
In the December 2020 quarter, we didn’t see consumer spending increasing in Horowhenua unlike the clear recovery from COVID-19 lockdown in the previous September quarter. According to Marketview data, a decline in consumer spending was shown compared to the previous spending in 2019. On a positive note, Horowhenua’s consumer spending is staying above the national average of 3.2% in the same quarter.
The number of Job Seeker Support recipients within Horowhenua’s labour market have been tracking well with an increase of 16% compared to December 2019. Horowhenua’s increase is one of the lowest in the country, compared to a national rise of 36%. The number of jobs being filled in Horowhenua is faster than the national average.
The average house value in Horowhenua has been quickly rising with a 19% increase to a median price of nearly $492,000 in the December quarter. Houses sold in Horowhenua came to an annual total of 800 in 2020, an 18% increase on the previous year. With the increased value of existing residential property and a shortage of properties available, this has led to a boost in new residential consents to 71 in the December 2020 quarter compared to a 10 year quarterly average of 43.
Agriculture and food processing have provided a strong foundation for Horowhenua’s economy with the rise of milk prices foreseeing a healthy pay-out to dairy farmers of $132m this season, $2m more than the last season.
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