NZ’s gross domestic product dropped 0.2% in the three months to the end of March, following a 3% rise in the previous quarter. The fall had not been expected by the Reserve Bank or most of the country’s economic forecasters. The ‘technical’ description of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth – so if the economy goes backwards in the June quarter we will technically be in recession. The quarterly fall in GDP was released amid a backdrop of growing economic gloom both in New Zealand and overseas. The decline is driven by fall-out from Russia’s war on Ukraine and a drop in the output of primary industries including dairy, meat, agriculture and fishing products.