HOGO or the hassle of going-out looks to be the biggest challenge in the upcoming Omicron wave. According to Brad Olsen, Infometrics Principal Economist and Director, people’s participation in the economy is set to drop as Omicron spreads.
“The Hassle of Going Out (HOGO) will morph into a Hesitancy of Going Out (also HOGO) as the risk grows of contracting COVID-19 or having to isolate for an extended period. An artificial ‘lockdown’ might occur, as Kiwis intentionally limit how much they go out,” said Olsen.
As Omicron has spread, overseas data shows a 25 percent decline in restaurant activity from normal levels, according to OpenTable.
Omicron presents a clear challenge for the New Zealand economy, once again.
“New Zealanders have shown themselves to be resilient so far throughout the pandemic, with better economic results than expected during 2020 and 2021. But without the workers to operate, and materials to sell and use, our strong economic foundations remain vulnerable to a period of further economic disruption," Olsen concluded.