Severe recession guaranteed in wake of coronavirus pandemic, economists say

While "times are grim" and a severe recession is guaranteed, according to big bank economists, there is some hope the country will bounce back faster than the 2008 financial crisis.

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While a severe recession is now guaranteed, there is some optimism that NZ will recover faster than from the GFC. Source: 1 NEWS

Bagrie Economics’ Cameron Bagrie said the falling numbers are “showing something pretty substantial in the scale of destruction we're seeing around the globe".

Westpac’s latest economic forecasts are estimating unemployment to rise from four per cent to nine, house prices to fall seven per cent, and GDP to drop 15 per cent over the first half of 2020.

“We are going to see an awful amount of economic destruction on this and businesses are going to fail and fewer people are going to be in jobs,' Mr Bagrie said.

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Martin Hawes has the answers you need to know. Source: Seven Sharp

ANZ’s business confidence survey shows record lows, with 23 per cent of businesses saying they are likely to lay off staff. The figure is higher in retail.

Some economists said the country will bounce back faster than the economy did after the 2008 financial crisis. However, a full recovery is likely to take years.

"That bounce, I think, is going to be relatively subdued compared to the hole we're digging ourselves into," Mr Bagrie said.

“We're going to see unemployment at double digit levels and we've not seen since that since 1990, 1991, so we're going to need a big call to arms to get this economy moving.”

Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said the company will lose 90 per cent of its annual revenue, falling from $5 billion to less than $500 million.

The national carrier now says the estimated 3500 job losses are a “conservative estimate”. However, the blow to employees is expected to be softened after it accepted the Government’s wage subsidy.

“Anything that keeps people in work for longer is worth it, and it also gives an opportunity for people to really engage in the discussion and try and find creative solutions to save as many jobs as possible,” E Tu union's Rachel Mackintosh.

Air New Zealand says it will now turn into a domestic airline, with a focus internationally on cargo.

The dire straits at Air New Zealand is reflected in the wider economy, Mr Bagrie said.

“This is the deepest recession New Zealand is ever likely to experience,” he said.