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All regions expanded in September quarter

All regions expanded in September quarter

Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton says he is encouraged by National Bank's latest Regional Trends Survey showing economic activity increased across all 14 regions in the September quarter, the first time all regions experienced quarter-on-quarter growth simultaneously in 18 months.

"New Zealand is continuing to perform very well compared with most of our trading partners in the context of an often adverse and sometimes hostile international trading environment over the past two years or so," Jim Anderton said.

"Adverse international events serve to highlight the importance of the coalition government's ongoing work to bolster the capabilities of regional economies to enable the country to better withstand the shocks that impact on our economy and are out of our control," he said.

"There is no doubt that the coalition government's policies of working alongside individual companies, industry sectors and regional authorities are paying dividends in the form of better regional economic and social performance, including employment, than would be the case in the absence of such policies or a return to the 'hands off' policies of neglect of the past," he added.

Jim Anderton said growth rates in Europe and Japan, two of our largest markets, have been weak for a prolonged period and the outlook elsewhere continues to be challenging which makes the government's strategy of working alongside businesses all the more important.

"Our strategy is about individual firms, industry sectors and regions setting their own priorities and for government agencies to then work with them to help them to reach the goals that they have set. Our strategy is about tapping into the innovative and creative ideas that individual businesses have and helping them to achieve their strategic goals," Jim Anderton said.

The National Bank's survey reported that all regions expanded in the three months ended September 30, topped by Southland's 3.6% expansion and Gisborne's 2.6% rise in activity. Other regions to record more than 1% quarter-on-quarter growth included Waikato, Manawatu-Wanganui, Auckland, West Coast, Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay.

In the 12 months ended September 30, annual average growth was 4.1% in Waikato and 4% in each of Canterbury, Nelson-Marlborough and Otago. All regions experienced annual growth with most regions experiencing growth of above 3% which many private sector economists believe is at the top end of the economy's so-called "potential" growth rate, or its natural speed limit.

ENDS

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