They estimate the economy has contracted by nine per cent from an average growth of 5.8 per cent annually due to the spread of Covid-19 in the third quarter of the 2019/20 financial year which led to the crippling of the tourism industry.
This has reduced the gross domestic product of the country to $483.3 million from the projected $531.2 million.
The economy is expected to contract further by 5.3 per cent in the coming financial year before returning to pre-pandemic level by 2023, the economists say.
Fletcher Melvin, the chair of Private Sector Force, agrees the country could be returning to pre-Covid-19 level close to 2023.
He said these were all reasonable assumptions based on the “growth assumptions of tourism arrivals and the boarder opening up later this year and the reserves in place”.
However Melvin warns the danger is the delay in the border opening and the tourists having the discretionary funds available for holidays due to the New Zealand economy and the global provider.
Cook Islands has been seeking a travel bubble with New Zealand soon to help recover the local economy. But new Covid-19 cases in New Zealand due to quarantine botch-ups there has put any immediate travel bubble in limbo.
New Zealand’s Health ministry yesterday confirmed two new cases of Covid-19 in managed isolation facilities in the country.
Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there are still no cases reported from the community.
Both cases have been in managed isolation since they arrived and are now in the quarantine facility in Auckland, Dr Bloomfield said.
One is a man in his 50s who arrived in NZ from India on 24 June - his result came from day 3 testing.
The second is a woman in her 20s who arrived from the US on 18 June, the wife of a previous case who tested positive on 22 June and was already in quarantine as she was considered a close contact.
>Additional reporting RNZ