New figures from both sides of the Tasman confirm that New Zealand exporters will continue to face hard times in their biggest market as the global economic crisis drags Australia into recession, The New Zealand Herald reported. New Zealand's transtasman trade suffered a 20.7 per cent hit in April - led by a halving in the value of crude oil - and the release of Australia's latest national accounts data tomorrow is expected to report a further contraction in gross domestic product for the March quarter. This follows a 0.5 per cent shrinkage in the three months to December, and would officially place the nation in a recession that most commentators believe is already well under way. Much of the impact is in areas important to New Zealand exporters feeding into construction and related sectors, retail--especially whitegoods--and discretionary spending now being hauled back dramatically by households both watching their budgets and fearing for their incomes. Read more.