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Growth continues despite drought

20 June 2013

Growth continues despite drought

Gross domestic product data for the March quarter shows the New Zealand economy continues to grow despite the impact of the nationwide drought.

“This confirms New Zealand is on the right track, in line with Budget forecasts of economic growth, more jobs, rising wages and a return to fiscal surplus in 2014/15,” Associate Minister of Finance Jonathan Coleman says.

Gross domestic product grew 0.3 per cent in the three months to 31 March, following better than expected 1.5 per cent growth in the December quarter. This took annual growth – from the March quarter 2012 to the March quarter 2013 - to 2.4 per cent (or 2.5 per cent on an annual average basis).

“Supported by the Government’s economic programme, the New Zealand economy is now performing favourably against most developed countries,” Dr Coleman says.

New Zealand’s growth compares with 2.5 per cent in Australia, 1.8 per cent in the US, 1.4 per cent in Canada, 0.2 per cent in Japan, 0.6 per cent in the UK and –1.1 per cent in the Euro area.

“The nationwide drought had a significant effect on growth, with agriculture, forestry and fishing reducing GDP by 0.3 per cent in the quarter,” Dr Coleman says.

“However, indications are that momentum will continue this year driven by rising consumer and business confidence, and a lift in construction. The increase in household spending signals that people are feeling more secure and optimistic.

“As the Budget forecasts show, we are on track for 2.5 to 3 per cent-plus growth over the next few years. This is supporting job growth and higher wages, along with the Government’s target of returning to surplus in 2014/15.

“With the economy on the right track, the Government will continue supporting businesses through its Business Growth Agenda aimed at improving New Zealand’s productivity and competitiveness as a way of fostering job growth and lifting wages.”


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