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Regional economy well placed for long-term growth

NEWS RELEASE
3 August, 2001


Regional economy well placed
for long-term growth


Unexpected growth in Wellington region’s large business and financial services sectors over the last six months provided the foundation for an expansion of the local economy, according to the Wellington Regional Council economic report, Regional Outlook, released today.

“This is a pleasing result,” says WRC chairman Stuart Macaskill. “Rising fuel prices really put a squeeze on businesses and households, so it’s good to see our economy is still ticking along.”

During the first half of the year the region’s economy was also boosted by strong employment growth, an increase in commercial and residential building, and more car sales. The number of tourists visiting the region continued to rise, and growth is set to continue into 2002.

“Our region is continuing to attract more tourists, which creates spin-offs in other parts of our economy, including helping to remedy slow retail sales this year,” Cr Macaskill says.

The rate of economic growth in region remained steady at around two percent over the last six months. Cr Macaskill says positive trends in exporting industries and the service sector will keep growth going, at only a slightly lower rate than the national average.

Regional Outlook says economic growth forecasts for the rest of the year will be limited by the region’s slow population growth. Population has only increased by two percent in the region since 1996, compared with three percent growth elsewhere. The Kapiti Coast has experienced a very high population growth rate over that time of eight percent, while the Wairarapa’s population has fallen by one percent.

The Wellington Regional Council publishes Regional Outlook twice a year. The August 2001 edition provides an update on the more detailed analysis of the region’s economy presented in the February 2001 edition.

Both editions of Regional Outlook are available from the offices of the Wellington Regional Council in Wakefield Street, Wellington, the economic development agencies of local councils, and on the WRC’s website at www.wrc.govt.nz/economy

ENDS

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