The March update of the Regional Activity Indices (RAIs) was released today.
Key points to note:
- As the indices are presented in terms of annual changes, all 14 regions displayed a large upward spike in activity relative to March last year – when we entered our level 4 national lockdown. These spikes are expected to continue for at least the next 2 months, and make it difficult to interpret the indices for the affected months.
- Only in central North Island regions did the bounce in activity in March 2021 outweigh the corresponding dip in activity in March 2020. In all other regions, the uptick in March 2021 activity was either less than, or just about on par with, the dip in March 2020 activity.
For more details, you’ll find the RAIs on page 8 of this week’s Weekly Economic Update.
The Regional Activity Indices (RAIs) are a set of experimental indicators that seek to track how regional economies are performing in near real-time.
The RAIs will be updates 2-3 weeks after the close of each month and will be published within the Treasury’s corresponding Weekly Economic Update.
The data for the RAIs, as well as most of the input data, is available to view and download on the Stats NZ COVID-19 data portal. Further documentation on how to use the indices, and how they are constructed, is also available from the Regional Activity Indices page on the Treasury website.