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Economic Growth Maintained by Internal Demand

Economic Growth Maintained by Internal Demand

Economic activity increased 1.0 percent in the September 2002 quarter following increases of 1.7 and 0.9 percent in the June and March quarters respectively, according to Statistics New Zealand.

For the year ended September 2002, the economy grew 3.9 percent.

Growth this quarter was maintained by internal demand, up 3.3 percent. Higher household expenditure on consumer items and new housing construction, and a build-up of inventories sustained demand. Much of this demand was met by imports, up 3.1 percent. Partly offsetting the increase in internal demand were lower export volumes, down 2.0 percent, largely due to a fall in merchandise exports.

This increased internal demand was reflected in a strong lift in the construction industry, up 11.0 percent, and a rise in retail, accommodation and restaurant services, up 1.4 percent. Construction output is up 7.8 percent for the September 2002 year.

Most other industries recorded small increases, with the notable exception of agriculture. Agriculture production fell 0.9 percent as wool and dairy production dropped. However, dairy production levels remain high, up 2.4 percent on the September 2001 quarter. Lamb production increased this quarter, a result of higher numbers of lambs tailed. Forestry output increased 5.0 percent for the September 2002 quarter, following a similar increase the previous quarter. Logging output is now at a very high level.

The expenditure-based measure of GDP, released concurrently with the production-based measure, recorded a 1.2 percent increase for the September quarter.

Brian Pink Government Statistician

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