Stats and Insights

Find up to date information about Kāpiti's economy, reports on areas such as tourism and retail sales, and relevant data.

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How we are tracking - March 2020

Kapiti’s economy performed steadily over the year to March 2020, providing a solid base as it entered the COVID-19 induced recession. Infometrics provisional estimates show GDP growth of 0.8% in the year to March 2020, below the national rate of 1.7%.

The district’s population continued to grow, as shown by health enrolments ticking up by 1.4%. This underpinned growth in consumer spending of 4.4%, ahead of the national average of 3.0%. Kapiti residents appeared slightly more confident that country overall, with stronger spending and stronger car registrations – down by only 7.5% compared to the national decline of 11.5%.

4.4% increase in consumer spending compared to 3% nationally


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House values in Kapiti continued to grow strongly, up by 9.3% over the year to March 2020, ahead of the national increase of 5.9%, which was underpinned by a decline in the number of houses sold in the district. Despite growing house values, new residential consents ticked down by 2.6% compared to a strong increase nationally of 9.0%. Workloads across the construction sector are likely to be soft, with non-residential consents down too, following a busy period over 2016-2018.

Jobseeker support recipients in the district increased by 10% over the past year, roughly in line with the national increase of 11.7%, reflective of a softer approach to benefit sanctions.

The economy will deteriorate markedly over the coming year due to COVID-19, with Infometrics forecasting GDP to fall by 8.0% and employment to fall by 9.8% over the year to March 2021 nationally. Kapiti is expected to fare slightly better than the national average, due to its diverse economic composition and low reliance on international tourists.

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Key economic indicators

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the economy and plunged New Zealand into the sharpest recession in living memory. The March quarter includes the full progression of the virus, from its origins in China and subsequent hit to New Zealand exports, through to border closures forcing lower tourism arrivals, before culminating in the lockdown of New Zealand under Alert Level 4. Our March 2020 Quarterly Economic Monitor only captures the initial economic effects of putting the New Zealand economy on life support. The June Monitor will better reflect activity changes. No sector of the economy will be spared, with the regional impacts dependant on the local economic structure – Infometrics is now forecasting the loss of 250,000 jobs nationally over the next year, followed by a long period of restructuring the economy.