Financial analysts think 2009 will be a tough year, despite early gains on the share market.
The NZX 50 index was up 0.1% at midday Wednesday, following increases of 1.4% on Tuesday and 1% on Monday.
Market gains this week came during days of light turnover because people are still on holiday.
New Zealand Stock Exchange chief executive Mark Weldon says stock markets traditionally begin to rise about halfway through a recession.
However, Mr Weldon says he still thinks there will be material risks to jobs as well as the tradeable and dairy sectors this year.
ANZ National Bank chief economist Cameron Bagrie is expecting 2009 to be a very tough year, and says the second leg of the economic downturn will be all about job losses.
Mr Bagrie says he thinks it will be late 2009 or early 2010 before the economy recovers.