The Regional Activity Indices (RAIs) are a set of experimental indicators that seek to track how regional economies are performing in near real-time.
Each regional index summarises the co-movements of several high-frequency indicators of activity – spanning card spending, online job vacancies, jobseeker numbers, electricity usage, and traffic volumes – into a single composite index that can be updated monthly. They are reported at the level of 14 regional councils – with Nelson, Tasman, and Marlborough combined into one region.
The RAIs measure the year-on-year change in activity levels for each region. A positive value means that many of the underlying input indicators are growing at above-average rates, and vice versa for a negative value. As the RAIs are a relatively technical product, we strongly recommend reading the initial release and the accompanying Interpretation Guidance and FAQ. A separate technical note provides more detail on how the RAIs are constructed.
The RAIs will be updated 2-3 weeks after the close of each month and will be published as a monthly special topic within Treasury's Weekly Economic Update.
The data for the RAIs and the underlying input data can be viewed and downloaded from the Stats NZ COVID-19 data portal.