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Measuring the slump

20/04/2020

An intriguing post looking at issues we face in NZ as to ability to measure the dimensions of the manifold issues facing NZ

croaking cassandra

One of the current challenges for economists and others is making sense of the scale of what is happening to economic activity, employment, unemployment, underemployment etc at present.

It isn’t helped by the persistent refusal of successive governments to fund Statistics New Zealand adequately for core functions –  you could think of the Census debacle, but I’m more focused on basic macroeconomic data.  We and Australia are the only two OECD countries without a monthly CPI, our GDP estimates (quarterly only, as with most countries) come out only with a very long lag, we don’t have a monthly industrial production series, and we still don’t have an income-based measure of GDP.   One could add into the mix the degraded state of our timely net migration data too, although for the time being I guess that won’t matter much to anyone (largely closed borders and all that).

Those failings can’t…

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