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Size of New Zealand economy reaches $207 billion

[This information has been updated elsewhere - see Correction notice – Statistics NZ: National Accounts]

Size of New Zealand economy reaches $207 billion

There are mixed signs in how the economy is recovering from the global financial crisis, Statistics New Zealand said today. Increases in earnings from exports, and in spending by households and government, were larger than increases in investments and profits by businesses in the past year.

Statistics NZ has today released the national accounts statistics for the year ended March 2012, which provide a snapshot of the country’s economic performance.

The size of the New Zealand economy as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) in current prices (without removing inflation) rose to $206.5 billion (up 3.7 percent) in the March 2012 year.

"This is the first time New Zealand’s GDP has passed $200 billion," national accounts manager Rachael Milicich said.

"While GDP was up, the underlying picture reflects economic uncertainty, with business profits and investment growing slowly in 2012."

Households continued to almost match their income and spending, which is a turnaround from the period before 2010, when they regularly spent more than they earned. In 2012, household spending (up 5.0 percent) outweighed income (up 4.5 percent) by $100 million. "This is in contrast to household spending exceeding income, on average by $4.0 billion, over the last 10 years," Ms Milicich said.

Investment in fixed assets (in current prices) increased only slightly (up 0.7 percent) in the March 2012 year. The 2012 investment level is still $5.1 billion below the $42.4 billion peak of 2008.

Government investment in fixed assets rose 2.0 percent, while private investment remained almost unchanged (up 0.2 percent). Investment in residential and commercial buildings fell in 2012. This drop was more than offset by increases in plant, machinery, and equipment, and other construction (infrastructure).

The statistics released today provide provisional estimates for New Zealand’s economic performance up to the March 2012 year. National Accounts (Income and Expenditure): Year ended March 2012 provides information on the relationships between different groups in the economy (such as households, businesses, and government), as well as their sources and use of income, and their interaction with the rest of the world. Comprehensive data on production, investment, and capital stock, including the effect of the global financial crisis on the New Zealand economy, is available from National Accounts (Industry Benchmarks): Year ended March 2010.


Authorised by:
Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician

Published 21 November 2012

For more information about these statistics:
• Visit National Accounts (Income and Expenditure): Year ended March 2012
• Visit National Accounts (Industry Benchmarks): Year ended March 2010
• Open the attached files


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