Consumer spending in New Zealand for January 2021 was 6% lower compared to the January of 2020. Consumers have evidently pulled back from their record spending at the end of the 2020. A dip in consumer spending is always expected in the months following the spending spree consumers undertake in up to Christmas. Although, this year’s January spend is a 6% decrease from the previous January. The decrease in spending might be a warning sign that the economy is not as solid as imagined.
New COVID-19 related wage subsidy in available from tomorrow
A new subsidy payment directed at those that cannot attend work while they wait for COVID-19 test results will be available from tomorrow.
Details on the Short-Term Absence Payment were noted by Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Employment last December when the subsidy was announced.
If employees cannot work from home, the government will contribute up to $350 for employers to pass onto their staff that are waiting for COVID-19 test outcome.
The payment can only be accessed only once per worker in a 30 day period.
The purpose of the subsidy is to encourage those that may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to not attend work and potentially spread the virus to others. The subsidy should reduce the financial impact of those individuals and their employer.
Fonterra’s outlook revised upwards by Fitch Ratings
Fitch Ratings has improved Fonterra Co-Op Group Limited (NZX:FCG) outlook from ‘Negative’ to ‘Stable’ while its long-term issuer default rating remains an ‘A’.
Fitch reviews its rating of Fonterra annually and determines if the Company has changed for the better, for the worse, or remained the same. The ‘stable’ rating indicates that Fitch Ratings do not believe that Fonterra’s ratings will change in either direction by the time its reviewed next year. It is likely that Fonterra will remain ‘A’ rated for the foreseeable future. The high rating suggests that Fonterra is very unlikely to default on any liabilities.