Health care spending revives in June – Stats NZ Media and Information Release: Electronic card transactions: June 2020

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Health care spending revives in June – Media release

10 July 2020

Monthly card spending on medical and other health care services reached a record high in June 2020, Stats NZ said today.

In actual terms, spending on medical and other health care services was $261 million in June 2020, up 20 percent ($43 million) from June 2019.

Health care services include GPs, specialists, physiotherapy, optometry, ambulances, and dental care.

“New Zealanders couldn’t make face-to-face health care visits during lockdown, so they had to wait until June to return to doctors, dentists, and other specialists,” retail statistics manager Kathy Hicks said.

“Spending on health care services during the level-4 lockdown in April was almost non-existent. However, there was a slight recovery in May as we moved through alert levels 3 and 2,” Ms Hicks said.

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Furniture, hardware, and other long-lasting goods

Spending on long-lasting goods (ranging from furniture to cosmetics) continued to rise in June, following a bumper May.

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In actual terms, all four durables industries reached record highs for any June month. Furniture, electrical, and hardware retailing had the largest dollar value increase, up $159 million (27 percent) from June 2019.

“The increase in spending on long-lasting goods could still be the effect of pent-up demand following alert levels 3 and 4, when retailers were mostly shut,” Ms Hicks said. "New Zealanders might have been using the wider shopping options on offer at COVID-19 alert levels 2 and 1 to buy equipment to help them work better from home or hardware for do-it-yourself jobs."

Eating out recovers, but accommodation still relatively low

“Restricted border measures continue to impact hospitality, with accommodation affected more than restaurants, bars, and takeaways,” Ms Hicks said.

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Spending at restaurants, cafes, and takeaways (food and beverage services) is nearly back up to pre-COVID-19 levels but is still down 2.4 percent on the June 2019 level.

Spending on accommodation, including hotels, motels, and camping grounds, is still at low levels, down 33 percent on June 2019. This reflects the lack of international visitors as a result of COVID-19.

See Electronic card transactions: June 2020 for more information and to download data.

Retail card spending resurgence in June – Stats NZ Media and Information Release: Electronic card transactions: June 2020

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Retail card spending resurgence in June – Media release

10 July 2020

Retail spending on furniture, hardware, appliances, and recreational goods helped boost June total sales up to $5.7 billion, Stats NZ said today.

“During the COVID-19 lockdown, which started late March, we saw a significant drop in spending as the majority of businesses closed. The full force of the lockdown on sales came into effect in April, with more typical total levels of spending returning in June,” retail statistics manager Kathy Hicks said.

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Of the six retail industries, spending increased for four (consumables, durables, apparel, and vehicles) compared with last June.

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Retail therapy

Furniture, hardware, appliances, and recreational goods (durables) experienced the largest rise, up $310 million (24 percent) compared with June 2019.

“Businesses that sold furniture, supplies for DIY home projects, and snow gear, among other goods, experienced a decent boost this June,” Ms Hicks said. “New Zealanders were taking part in some well-deserved retail therapy after being unable to purchase these items in stores during lockdown.”

Health care spending revives in June has more information on card spending on durables sub-industries and other retail industries.

Supermarkets, specialised foods, and liquor stores (consumables) had the second largest increase, up $205 million (11 percent) on the same month last year.

“Consumables sales remain up this side of the lockdown, while the hospitality industry is still finding its legs. It seems people continue to spend more on groceries than on restaurants and eating out,” Ms Hicks said.

International travelling spend missed

Only two of the six retail industries (fuel and hospitality) experienced a drop in spending. Spending on fuel was down $84 million (15 percent), and on hospitality, it was down $74 million (7.3 percent) from June 2019.

“The drop in fuel spending would have been affected by cheaper pump prices and flexible working arrangements – many businesses only started returning to the office after the move to alert level 1 on 8 June,” Ms Hicks said. “While the hospitality industry is being propped up by domestic travel and tourism, it is still constrained without international tourism to boost the spending.”

Actual retail card spending using electronic cards reached $5.7 billion in June 2020, up $421 million (8.0 percent) from June 2019.

June quarter

Actual retail card spending using electronic cards was $18 billion in the June 2020 quarter, down $4.5 billion (20 percent) from the June 2019 quarter.

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“The falls this quarter occurred primarily in April and somewhat in May, with June being a return to more usual card spending,” Ms Hicks said.

Retail card spending was down $2.5 billion (15 percent) for the June 2020 quarter, compared with the June 2019 quarter, with the majority of the retail industries experiencing falls.

Consumables was the only retail industry that didn’t experience a fall during the quarter. It was up $651 million (11 percent) from the June 2019 quarter.

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“Supermarkets and grocery stores were one of the main essential services that didn’t close during the lockdown, and the card spending reflects that,” Ms Hicks said.

Stats NZ: Impacts of COVID-19 on the methodology used for the June 2020 quarter CPI

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Impacts of COVID-19 on the methodology used for the June 2020 quarter CPI

9 July 2020

COVID-19 has created some unprecedented data collection and methodological challenges for the consumers price index (CPI). As a result of the lockdown, in-person collection of data from stores ceased from the end of March until early June. Contacting business respondents was also more difficult under lockdown conditions. At the same time, production and consumption of goods and services were interrupted and household consumption patterns changed.
 
We have published a summary of the impacts of COVID-19 on the methodology used for the June 2020 quarter consumers price index (CPI). We focus on collection issues, imputation to replace missing prices, and reweighting the CPI basket to reflect changing household spending patterns in New Zealand.  
 
See Impacts of COVID-19 on the methodology used for the June 2020 quarter CPI.

Consumer price index: June 2020 quarter will be published on 16 July 2020.

Stats NZ: Measuring the New Zealand labour market during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Measuring the New Zealand labour market during the COVID-19 pandemic

9 July 2020

As New Zealand works to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, people have been interested in the impact on employment and the labour market.

Measuring the New Zealand labour market during the COVID-19 pandemic summarises sources of data that indicate changes in unemployment, employment, and the number of jobs. We compare the characteristics of various data sources to help you find the most appropriate data source for your purpose.

Stats NZ Information Release: Employment indicators: Paid jobs week ended 7 June 2020

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Employment indicators: Paid jobs week ended 7 June 2020

9 July 2020

Key facts

The weekly employment indicators use the timelier and more detailed payday filing that has been available from Inland Revenue since April 2019. Our experimental series includes three measures that trade-off between quality and timeliness.

Latest week

For the week ended 7 June 2020 the most accurate measure, number of paid jobs – 27 days, indicated the numbers of paid jobs (compared with the previous week) were:

  • 2,197,170 total paid jobs (down 10,780 or 0.5 percent)
  • 96,890 paid jobs in primary industries (down 1,890 or 1.9 percent)
  • 412,320 paid jobs in goods-producing industries (down 3,120 or 0.8 percent)
  • 1,635,500 in services industries (down 6,220 or 0.4 percent).

   
Due to the nature of the administrative data that these indicators draw from, the accuracy of the data improves the further out from the reference week it relates to. We advise strong caution in making decisions based on this data.

More data

Stats NZ COVID-19 data portal presents the data in graphical format.

For technical enquiries contact: Jasmine Ludwig, Wellington, 04 931 4592, info@stats.govt.nz

For media enquiries contact: James Weir, Wellington, 021 285 9191, communications@stats.govt.nz

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Stats NZ Media and Information Release: Effects of COVID-19 on trade: 1 February–1 July 2020 (provisional)

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Effects of COVID-19 on trade: 1 February–1 July 2020 (provisional)

8 July 2020

Effects of COVID-19 on trade is a weekly update on New Zealand’s daily goods trade with the world from 1 February 2020. Comparing the values with previous years shows the potential impacts of COVID-19.

The data is provisional and should be regarded as an early, indicative estimate of intentions to trade only, subject to revision.

We advise caution in making decisions based on this data.

Note: The large increase in the total import value on 29 June 2020 is due to the arrival of a new vessel for the Royal New Zealand Navy.

More data
Stats NZ COVID-19 portal presents the data in graphical format.

Definitions and metadata
Overseas merchandise trade weekly series – Datainfo+ provides the methodology used, and information on the quality and limitations of the dataset.

Stats NZ release notification

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Dear subscriber,

Below you can find Stats NZ’s information releases for the next week. For more information about these releases go to Insights and make your selections in the drop down options.

9 July 2020
Employment indicators: Paid jobs week ended 7 June 2020
View recent Employment indicators releases

10 July 2020
Electronic card transactions: June 2020
View recent Electronic card transactions releases

13 July 2020
Food price index: June 2020
View recent Food price index releases

Rental price indexes: June 2020
View recent Rental price indexes releases

14 July 2020
International migration: May 2020 – Infoshare tables
View recent International migration releases

International travel: May 2020
View recent International travel releases

15 July 2020
Effects of COVID-19 on trade: 1 February–8 July 2020 (provisional)
View recent Effects of COVID-19 on trade releases

Our release calendar has a full list of release dates for official statistics.

The release calendar is updated six months ahead, but dates may change due to events related to Covid-19.

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Stats NZ Information Release: Dwelling and household estimates: June 2020 quarter

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Dwelling and household estimates: June 2020 quarter

7 July 2020

Dwelling and household estimates are used for many purposes including planning, policy formation, business decisions, and as ‘bottom lines’ in the calculation of market coverage rates.

Key facts

  • Private dwellings estimate: 1,928,900 (at 30 June 2020).
  • Households estimate: 1,795,300 (at 30 June 2020).

The private dwelling estimates are based on the 2018 Census of Population and Dwellings, while household estimates remain on a 2013 base. These household estimates will be rebased and revised after the 2018-base estimated resident population is published.

Feedback sought on sex and gender identity review – Stats NZ Media Release

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Feedback sought on sex and gender identity review – Media release

2 July 2020

New Zealanders are being asked for their views on how sex and gender should be thought about and measured to reflect our diverse society, Stats NZ said today.

Public consultation for the review of the statistical standards for sex and gender identity will begin on Thursday 2 July and end at 5pm on 13 August 2020.

“We are conducting a review of its sex and gender identity statistical standards,’’ deputy government statistician and deputy chief executive of insights and statistics Rachael Milicich said.

“The review will evaluate the current standards to determine what updates are required to enable best practice guidance for collecting information on these topics across the data system.”  

The review is driven by unmet information needs, issues we have identified with existing standards and significant community interest. Issues with the existing statistical standards include their ability to adequately reflect transgender and intersex people. We have convened a group of topic experts to advise on the review (see Reviewing the statistical standards for sex and gender for the terms of reference for that review). Guidance is being sought on how to best collect this information in New Zealand by other government agencies, and more widely.

“Our job at Stats NZ is to reflect society in all its diversity. We are committed to improving the way we record and present information on sex and gender identity to ensure it is inclusive and meets information needs. We acknowledge more cohesive work needs to be undertaken to ensure the updated standards reflect New Zealand’s society in all its diversity,” Ms Milicich said.

National statistics offices around the world are facing similar challenges with how to best collect information on these concepts. We are learning from the approach taken by some of these agencies to inform our review. This is an area with evolving societal and cultural understanding, and language. We need an approach that will be flexible, enduring, and suitable for the context of Aotearoa New Zealand. The updated standards will inform future Stats NZ collections, including the household surveys and next census.

We encourage you to make a submission, see Sex and gender identity statistical standards: Consultation.