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Economic Recovery Continues in 2000

Business Activity: 2000

Statistics New Zealand today released Business Activity 2000, a publication that brings together information on the performance of the New Zealand economy in the year 2000. For the year ended December 2000, the economy grew 3.6 percent in real terms, continuing the recovery recorded in the December 1999 year. This followed a period of flat activity recorded in 1998, when the economy dipped 0.1 percent. Growth over the past two calendar years combined has been 7.7 percent.

The recovery in 2000 was export-led with export values increasing by 22.7 percent to reach $39,160 million for the year ended December 2000. Industries involved in inbound tourism and exports of primary products recorded the largest increases. With the high number of tourists, exports of services increased noticeably while merchandise export volumes, as measured by the Overseas Trade Indexes, increased 5.7 percent.

Rises in crude oil prices and primary product prices also had a marked effect on business activity in the year ended December 2000. Bulk diesel prices increased by 53.3 percent in the December 2000 quarter when compared with the December 1999 quarter, while retail petrol prices were 23.2 percent higher.

Manufacturing sales for the year ended December 2000 recorded the largest annual growth since the current series commenced in December 1990. Sales were $58,136 million, an increase of $6,311 million or 12.2 percent compared with the year ended December 1999.

Similarly, both wholesale and retail trade experienced increased activity for the December 2000 year. The high level of activity in the production, processing and export of primary food products, and petroleum and petroleum products lifted wholesale trade. Retail sales were up 6.0 percent for the year to December 2000, with motor vehicle services ? which includes the effect of increased pump prices ? up 15.9 percent.

Though building activity throughout the year fluctuated, the value of building work put in place increased. The total value of work put in place on residential buildings for the December 2000 year was up 5.5 percent on the previous year. Non-residential buildings rose 7.8 percent, with the value of $789 million recorded for the December 2000 quarter being the highest quarterly total recorded for non-residential buildings since the survey began in June 1965.

Economic growth has increased employment, particularly full-time employment. Over the year 2000, full-time employment was up 37,000 (2.7 percent) with female employment up 21,000, while male employment rose 15,000.

Business Activity 2000 is the ninth of an annual series of publications which brings together structural and financial information on the business sector of New Zealand, and is available from Statistics New Zealand for $40.00.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician
END


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