All key income measures for household incomes increased prior to the COVID-19 lockdown on 25 March 2020, Stats NZ said today.
Over the same period average annual housing costs had also increased.
Data for income, housing costs, and wellbeing measures are collected through the household economic survey (HES), which is conducted by Stats NZ interviewing people in their own home.
Due to the COVID-19 lockdown that started on 25 March 2020, Stats NZ had to cease all face-to-face interviewing, and no other means of interviewing were available. This meant that the survey started collection in July 2019 and ended in March 2020 with only nine months of data collected. Data for ‘the year ended June 2020’ only covers the period to the end of March 2020.
As a consequence, the data was produced from a smaller number of households than if Stats NZ had collected 12 months’ worth of data.
“We have investigated the quality of the data that has been collected in the nine months, and are satisfied that it is fit for purpose,” Stats NZ income and poverty statistics manager, Chris Pooch said.
“The effects of the lockdown on household incomes, housing costs, and material wellbeing are not visible in this data.”
In the year ended June 2020, average annual household disposable income (after tax and transfer payments) increased from $83,406 to $86,626 (up 3.9% compared with the year ended June 2019). Average annual housing cost increased from $17,324 to $17,980 (up 3.8%) over the same period.