There is no hiding from negative 1.6. It is a disaster.
The quarter one GDP number is the first, no hiding from it, it's not a guess, factual statement as to what sort of mess our economy is in. Sadly, the forecasters had picked negative one, so unlike many other guesses that turn out to be overly negative, this turned out to be overly optimistic.
Negative 1.6 for the months of January, February and March. Compare it with Australia, at negative 0.3. We are in excess of five times worse than that. If there was ever any doubt that they are managing this better than us, negative 0.3 versus negative 1.6 is your answer.
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This ends the Government's worst week by so far it doesn't matter.
Not only has the health side of the equation been botched in comedic, tragic and gobsmackingly unprofessional fashion, the price we are paying economically is massive.
Politically, my guess is this week will have turned the love tap off for the Government. The sycophancy, the adoration, the international heads, the Ardern-and-Bloomfield-can-do-no-wrong hypnotic trance so many fell into, will have turned.
You can't put a country through what we have, to then have a bunch of halfwits at the Ministry of Health screw it up in their dumpty-doo fashion - with no one held accountable,
- and then, oh by the way, look how badly the economy has tanked as well.
Remember for Q1, January and February weren't even Covid months. Nothing untoward was happening in this country apart from the Government's economic policies slowing the economy. Don't forget that, pre-Covid, the economic delivery of this Government was ordinary, to say the least.
Add Covid on top and if you think Q1 is bad, the real misery comes in Q2. Q2 is April, May, and June. If there is hope, it's that we aren't out of June yet - and for a lot of the month we have been in level 1. The money stats say spending has been solid, if not spectacular. It might be June works out okay, and the only damage is April and May.
But if March sunk Q1, then two months worse than that in Q2 is surely a sign we are sinking, as we speak, like a stone.
Those Q2 numbers will be out by election time. If things continue the way they have this week for the Government, they may well be the final nail in the coffin.
Here's the simple truth: They have underestimated the suffering and sacrifice we have gone through. They don't get the life-changing trauma they have inflicted on hundreds of thousands of us, because they have never been in the real world. And because their jobs are safe, this to them has been a project, but for the rest of us, it's our lives.
We end the week with the health part and economic parts in tatters. Conclusion? They couldn't run a piss-up in a brewery.