Kiwi hospitality in 2022 and the Spanish Flu in 1918
The news is being dominated by the huge hit that the Auckland hospitality industry is taking from the virus, especially in the Central Business District. New data has just revealed a 30% drop in year-on-year revenues. Proprietors say that Omicron is scaring customers away and that the Government's COVID-19 modelling is only making it worse. Newshub quote Cafe Hanoi manager Krishna Botica as saying, "We're looking at four closures, bankruptcies. We're going to be annihilated at this rate".
It turns out that the Spanish flu in 1918-19 had a quite small economic effect on the United States, despite killing hundreds of thousands of people there, primarily since America was heavily dependent on demand for industrial production, which largely continued throughout that period.
By contrast, many countries, are now far more reliant on service industries, such as hospitality. Of Auckland’s output, Infometrics reports that just under 70% comes from services. Since these mostly depend on face-to-face interactions, demand for them has been especially affected by virus restrictions and public fear.
By contrast & reflecting the economic patterns of 1918, this past 2021 year was a record one for NZ’s dairy production.