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New Zealand economy declines 0.2 percent

New Zealand economy declines 0.2 percent

New Zealand's economic activity, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), declined 0.2 percent in the September 2010 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today.

"The decline in GDP this quarter was due to weakness in the primary and goods-producing industries," national accounts manager Rachael Milicich said. "However, annual GDP rose 1.4 percent compared with the year ended September 2010."

The main contributors to the decline in economic activity in the September 2010 quarter were:

• manufacturing, down 1.7 percent, following a 4.3 percent decline in the previous quarter

• fishing, forestry, and mining, down 5.5 percent, mainly due to lower mining activity

• construction, down 2.5 percent, with declines in both residential and non-residential building.

Partly offsetting these declines were increases in transport and communications (up 2.1 percent), and wholesale trade (up 2.4 percent).

The expenditure measure of GDP declined 0.4 percent in the September 2010 quarter. For the same period the volume of goods and services purchased by New Zealand households was up 0.5 percent.

Household spending on durable goods (furniture and major appliances) and services (communications and domestic air travel) increased, while spending on non-durable goods fell (mainly due to alcoholic beverages).

Gross fixed capital formation (GFKF), which measures investment in fixed assets, was down 1.8 percent in the September 2010 quarter. The main movements within GFKF were:

• residential building (down 7.4 percent)

• transport equipment (down 8.3 percent)

• plant, machinery, and equipment investment (up 6.4 percent).

The Canterbury earthquake occurred in the September 2010 quarter. A note on how this affected GDP is in the commentary section of the Gross Domestic Product: September 2010 quarter Hot Off the Press.

Geoff Bascand

23 December 2010

Government Statistician


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