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Growth picks up to 3.8 per cent in March year

Growth picks up to 3.8 per cent in March year

Economic growth picked up to 3.8 per cent in the year to 31 March, providing further evidence that the Government’s economic programme is taking New Zealand in the right direction, Finance Minister Bill English says.

Statistics New Zealand today reported gross domestic product expanded by 1.0 per cent in the March quarter – the third consecutive quarter of 1 per cent or more growth.

This took annual growth – from the March quarter 2013 to the March quarter 2014 - to 3.8 per cent – the third highest annual growth in the OECD. Average annual growth was 3.3 per cent.

“This is the latest in a run of encouraging economic indicators,” Mr English says. “Our challenge is to ensure this growth continues over the long term, because that’s the best way to deliver more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealanders.”

“Business and consumer confidence remains high, manufacturing activity has been expanding for almost a year and a half and the current account deficit is less than half of what it was five or six years ago.

“However, we still have plenty of work ahead of us to ensure these positive indicators continue to translate into real opportunities and progress for New Zealanders and their families.”

The solid growth was widespread across the economy in the March quarter.
Construction made the largest contribution, with mining, agriculture, retail trade and accommodation also making positive contributions.

“This confirms businesses are investing for the long-term to support productivity and higher wages,” Mr English says.

New Zealand’s 3.8 per cent annual GDP growth was strong by the standards of other developed countries. It compares with 3.5 per cent in Australia, 3.1 per cent in the United Kingdom, 2.0 per cent in the United States, 2.2 per cent in Canada, 2.8 per cent in Japan and the Euro area 0.9 per cent. Average growth across the OECD is 2.1 per cent.

“We are making good progress but our long-term challenge is to make the enduring structural changes needed for New Zealand to reach its economic potential,” Mr English says.


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