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Drought slows economic growth

Drought slows economic growth – Media release

19 September 2013

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.2 percent in the June 2013 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today.

"The drought early this year influenced falls in agriculture and manufacturing this quarter, but this was balanced by strong growth in the service industries," acting national accounts manager Steffi Schuster said.

This latest result follows a GDP rise of 0.4 percent in the March 2013 quarter, when dry weather also slowed growth.

The industries with the largest contributions to growth this quarter were:
• business services (up 2.6 percent), led by architectural and engineering services
• retail trade and accommodation (up 2.1 percent), led by furniture, department store, food, and clothing retailing

These increases were partly offset by declines in:
• Agriculture (down 6.4 percent), driven by a large fall in dairy farming. Agriculture has now fallen 10.4 percent since it peaked in the December 2012 quarter, as low rainfall has reduced production.
• Food, beverage, and tobacco manufacturing (down 3.8 percent), mainly due to a decrease in meat and dairy product manufacturing. Total manufacturing was down 0.1 percent.

Economic activity for the year ended June 2013 was up 2.7 percent.

The expenditure measure of GDP was up 0.1 percent in the June 2013 quarter. The main movements were:
• volume of spending by New Zealand households (up 1.5 percent), mainly due to increased spending on durables such as televisions, clothing, and furniture
• investment in fixed assets (up 3.8 percent), mainly due to increased construction of infrastructure
• exports of goods and services (down 5.9 percent), driven by a fall of dairy exports.




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