Waipā economy holding its own
Waipā’s economy is holding its own, despite the ongoing impacts of Covid-19.
The latest report from Wellington-based economists, Infometrics, says economic activity in the district has managed to “bounce back” in the September 2020 quarter. Waipā’s gross domestic product (GDP) was only 0.6 per cent lower than it was a year ago. This contraction was much smaller than the 2.1 per cent contraction in the Waikato region or the 3.3 per cent contraction nationwide.
The district’s consumer spending also bucked the trend. While spending was 0.6 per cent down in the Waikato and 2.7 per cent down across the country, Waipā spending went up 0.7 per cent. Residential building activity was up 4.4 per cent compared to 3.5 per cent nationally.
Waipā’s unemployment rate remained low at 2.7 per cent compared to 4 per cent across the Waikato. Local car registrations were sitting 0.7 per cent up in contrast to the 11.5 per cent drop in the Waikato and a massive 22.9 per cent drop in car registrations nationally.
Infometrics said “dairy in the Waipā district is helping to keep the economy going”, noting the revised farm gate price was above previous expectations.
Waipā District Council chief executive Garry Dyet noted non-residential consents in the district were down, but said it was largely a timing issue.
“We still have plenty of commercial activity in the district with two medical centres going in at Cambridge, new retirement villages planned for both Cambridge and Te Awamutu and a new police station planned for Cambridge,” he said.
“We’ve also had some retail refurbishments plus two great new homeware stores popping up in Te Awamutu. So there continues to be quite a lot happening with ongoing growth across the whole district.”
Waipā District Council commissions the Informetrics report each quarter to help with planning and setting work programmes.