WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s government said Tuesday it would spend billions of dollars supporting hard-hit companies as it tries to shore up an economy headed for recession because of the coronavirus.The stimulus package is equivalent to 4% of GDP. A large chunk of the new spending will go to businesses that have lost more than 30% of their income as a result of the downturn. Other money will go toward health costs, income support, and the airline industry.Finance Minister Grant Robertson said a recession in New Zealand is almost certain and would likely be more severe than the downturn after the 2008 global financial crisis.“This will affect every part of our economy, now and for some time to come,” Robertson told lawmakers. “We are going to see many New Zealanders lose their jobs, and some businesses fail. We will have an extended period of deficits and our debt as a country will have to substantially increase.”The government currently has a net debt level equivalent to about 20% of GDP, much lower than many other countries and giving it room to borrow more.New Zealand has so far been largely spared from the disease itself, with only eight confirmed cases


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