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Further GDP growth in Manawatu Region

14 September 2011

Further GDP growth in Manawatu Region

The rural sector continues to lead solid economic growth in the Manawatu region, which recorded a 1.1 percent increase in GDP in the year to June 2011. The GDP estimates produced by Infometrics suggest agricultural production declined in the December 2010 and March 2011 quarters but the favourable autumn boosted production at the end of the season.

Elaine Reilly, Chief Executive of Vision Manawatu says the Government has also been supporting economic activity in the region through major construction work at the Air Force base at Ohakea (building consents for close to $60 million have been approved to date) and the more recent consent for a $13 million expansion to the Youth Justice Residential Centre in the region. Consents for residential building are still declining but there are some signs the sector may be stabilising.

The Manawatu region economic outlook produced by Vision Manawatu (the region’s economic development agency) and Destination Manawatu (the region’s collaborative marketing organisation) suggests the rate of growth is likely to continue to strengthen but the pace of recovery will be slower than for previous cycles.

New earnings data just released for the year to June 2010 shows employee earnings in the region increased by 3.4% from the previous year while national earnings were unchanged. Manawatu District achieved growth of 6.9%, reflecting growth in employment at Ohakea and in the manufacturing sector in the district.

Chief Executive of Destination Manawatu, Lance Bickford noted encouraging growth in international visitor spending in the region, despite a small fall in visitor nights in the year to June. New Paymark retail data (debit and credit card) for Palmerston North shows a 6.2% increase in international cardholder spending (year to June) while domestic cardholder spending increased by 5.5%

ENDS

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