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Export Sector Picks Up – WRC Report

4 August, 2002

Export Sector Picks Up – WRC Report

Steady growth in the Wellington Region’s export-intensive industries is a bright spot in an otherwise static economic picture, according to the latest edition of Regional Outlook, published six-monthly by the Wellington Regional Council.

“It is heartening to see growth in our land-based industries, tourism, niche manufacturing and the international education market” says WRC Chairperson Margaret Shields.

“The number of international students in the region has jumped significantly over the last year and is set to continue to rise. As well as injecting cash into the economy, the students are a vibrant addition to our community.”

Employment in business and financial services and telecommunications, which account for a significant share of the region’s economy, has however continued to shrink over the past six months. This has flow-on effects on household spending, with both retail sales and the number of houses built or sold tailing the national average.

Domestic tourism has grown with Wellington benefiting from a trend for people to take holidays in New Zealand rather than overseas.

Over the next year economic growth in the region will continue to be slow with little employment growth and constrained household spending.

Councillor Shields says the challenges facing the economy highlight the need to build on the region’s strengths and to nurture fledgling industries.

“I have been impressed by the initiatives being undertaken by the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency, Go Wairarapa, Totally Wellington and Industry New Zealand.”

“The Regional Council is also playing its part by addressing the region’s strategic road and rail network leading to our commercial centres and the Port and airport,” said Councillor Shields.

Regional Outlook is prepared by Infometrics Ltd for the Wellington Regional Council. The August 2002 edition provides an update on the more detailed analysis of the region’s economy presented in the February 2002 edition.

Regional Outlook is 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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