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Dunedin Again Outstrips National Growth Indicators

Dunedin Again Outstrips National Economic Growth Indicators

Dunedin (3 February ) - Economic activity in Dunedin is continuing to outstrip national growth, with the Dunedin City Council's (DCC) Business Environment Index showing solid gains in the latest quarter.

Peter Brown, DCC's General Manager Strategy and Development, said the latest increase in economic activity substantiates earlier figures highlighting solid levels of employment and GDP growth in the City.

"This data shows that we are continuing to grow on our successes of early 2003 and are leading the rest of the country with our growth rates," Mr Brown said.

"We already know we offer the leading lifestyle in the country - now we are also one of the leading economies," he noted.

Increased retail trade, building activity and visitor guest nights underpinned rising activity in the December 2003 quarter. The value of commercial building consents issued rose by 48% from the same period last year spurred by projects such as the re-development of Farmers department store and new storage facilities for Port Otago and Turners and Growers. The number of visitor nights in Dunedin reached 216,133 during the December quarter, representing an increase of seven percent on the previous year. Dunedin also recorded a surge in the property market with a record 1,029 properties selling between October and December.

Councillor Malcolm Farry, chair of the Council's Economic Development Committee, said the latest Business Index figures illustrate an "extremely positive economic environment underpinned by solid levels of consumer confidence in the City".

Dunedin % Change Dec 2002 NZ % Change Dec 2002
Commercial Building Consents + 48 % + 22 %
Residential Building Consents + 46 % + 16 %
Retail Trade + 20 % + 3.0 %
Vehicle Registrations + 11 % + 12 %
Residential Property Sales + 9.0 % + 11 %
Tourist Visitor Nights + 7.0 % + 2.0 %
Unemployment Rate + 0.2 pp - 0.3 pp
Electricity Consumption - 2.0 % 0.0 %
Job Advertisements - 2.0 % + 8.0 %

About the Business Index

The Dunedin Business Index was developed by the DCC's Economic Development Unit and measures a range of indicators that contribute to the City's economy. It provides up-to-date information enabling both the Council and business community to monitor movements in the economy as well as charting Dunedin's performance against national trends.

The Dunedin Index was launched in June 2002 to create a snapshot of the economy and to complement existing annual economic reports by providing information on a quarterly basis. It was designed by Infometrics Consulting.

The Index comprises eight key indicators including job advertisements, retail trade, residential and commercial building consents, real estate sales and tourist visitor nights. It uses the average level of economic activity between 1995-2003 as a baseline to show contractions or expansions in the economy.

The Index demonstrates that Dunedin has consistently generated a higher level of economic activity than the national average since 2000.

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