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NZ economy continues to grow

Hon Bill English
Minister of Finance

21 March 2013
Media Statement
NZ economy continues to grow

The economy recorded a lift in growth in the December quarter, consistent with a broad improvement in activity and confidence, Finance Minister Bill English says.

Gross domestic product grew 1.5 per cent in the three months to 31 December, 2012. This took annual growth – from the December quarter 2011 to the December quarter 2012 - to 3 per cent.

“We had had a slightly softer September quarter so it is pleasing to see that growth picked up again in the final quarter of 2012,” Mr English says.

“Indications are that growth will continue this year as consumer and business confidence rises. A lift in household spending signals that people are feeling more secure and optimistic.

“We are also seeing a pick-up in construction activity beyond the re-build in in Christchurch and which will flow-through to other parts of the economy.

“We are on track for 2-3 per cent-plus growth over the next few years though internationally the problems of high debt and low growth remain and, at home, the impact of the drought is very likely to temper overall growth in the economy.

“Those factors make it important for the Government to continue to focus on its Business Growth Agenda initiatives aimed at improving New Zealand’s productivity and competitiveness as a way of fostering job growth and lifting wages.

“As we have previously noted, New Zealand is still performing better than most other OECD countries. New Zealand’s GDP growth of 3 per cent in 2012 compares with 1.6 per cent in the US, 1.1 per cent in Canada, 0.4 per cent in Japan, 0.3 per cent in the UK and -0.9 per cent in the Euro area.

“We expect our growth to continue as the Government retains tight control of its spending, households and businesses pay down debt, and very low interest rates and low inflation continue their long run.”

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