Mike Hosking: There's light at the end of Covid's tunnel

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 14 Oct 2020, 6:17PM
Photo / File
Photo / File

Mike Hosking: There's light at the end of Covid's tunnel

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 14 Oct 2020, 6:17PM

If you put more weight on numbers than theories, then this Covid thing is far from the end of the world.

It's important to differentiate as more data comes to hand. 

They said back in March armageddon was on its way. 

But they said that because they were guessing, who the hell knew what was going to unfold.

The longer this has gone, the more we know and here's what we know as of this morning.

Housing is fine, it's more than fine.

Spending is back, again, stats out yesterday show spending is up 24 % over the 3 months to September, obviously that’s pent up, it's people using money that would have gone overseas or they couldn’t spend in lock down.

Jobs are up provincially and 9 of 15 regions have more jobs now than last year.

Spending intention is also up, as we sort out whether we were losing our shirts or not, those that aren't, have settled into a new normal.

People are looking to spend and continue to spend in the next 3 to 6 months .

What we appear to have is a split recession, tourism, planes, borders, hospitality and some events badly damaged or finished.

The flip side is a lot of us are untouched.

And typical of recessions the counter factual to the damage, those that have boomed, and there seems plenty having a good time.

It's still way too early to see whether it's settled.

Whether companies still with doors open will try to see out xmas, then collapse is the question. A lot of restructuring is going on. The Warehouse, Marsden, Tiwai, Glenbrook, but much of that isn't Covid related.

And there is the change that appears permanent, downtowns in trouble as suburbs grow.

Provincial New Zealand taking on a sort of renaissance as people move to fresh air and space and zoom to the office.

Of course the in escapable truth is so much of the damage we have not seen yet, is because we have borrowed eye watering amounts of money and the country is in a mess of debt.

And it will haunt us for decades, but there is enough there i think to believe it could have been a lot worse.

And as tough as it is for those who have gone under, lost work or been stressed by uncertainty, large swathes are still ok, will be ok, it will just be different.

In every dark day there is opportunity, and as each day passes I am increasingly convinced that the line often used, the worst is yet to come, may not actually be true. 

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