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Manawatū District Economy Leads The Region

It would be easy to just drive through Manawatū District, look at the fantastic scenery, and just continue on not realising the Manawatū District economy stands out among its peers as growth hits 4.8 per cent.

Overall for the year ended March 2019 the New Zealand economy grew by 3.0 per cent and Manawatū-Whanganui region grew by 3.5 per cent

The Manawatū District economy is estimated to be worth $1.209b, increasing by $225m or 22.9 per cent over the five years, compared to Manawatu-Whanganui which grew by 14.4 per cent.

According to the Manawatū District Council economist Stacey Bell, growth rates have been driven by excellent trade conditions over 2019, population growth, house price growth and increasing earnings and household incomes across the District.

Latest Statistics New Zealand trade figures indicate significant growth in the value of exports for commodities produced in the District.

“Dairy exports increased by 11 per cent to $15.8b over the year while exports of meat and edible offal grew by 8.4 per cent.

The district population is now 31,700, growing by 1.9 per cent, compared with 1.6 per cent for New Zealand and 1.4 per cent for Manawatū-Whanganui region. This is also reflected in the house prices and retail spending.

Reaching a new record median price of $450,500 house prices climbed 30.6 per cent, while retail spending increased by 4.1 per cent for the year ending December 2019 (national growth was 2.3 per cent)

“This growth in house prices and retail spending is being driven by strong employment growth and increasing household incomes.

“In the district we have 12,014 jobs, this is an increase of 3.1 per cent, while New Zealand grew by 1.9 per cent, and Manawatū-Whanganui grew by 1.8 percent.

Particularly strong employment growth was observed in the accommodation and food services sector, construction, manufacturing and the professional, scientific and technical services sector where workers employed in knowledge intensive industries grew by 3.9 per cent exceeding national growth of 2.4 per cent.

“The average income in the Manawatū District now sits at $53,622 up 4.3 per cent. Household income is also particularly healthy, growing by 4.4 per cent to an average of $117,442 in the District. Our household income now exceeds national average household income of $113,221.”

Mayor Helen Worboys says the indicators reflect the significant strength of the Manawatū economy.

“This is great news and alongside the quality of our social infrastructure and the relative affordability of the Manawatū District, this supports the conclusion that the District is a great place to live with considerable employment and lifestyle opportunities for our residents.

While average earnings and household incomes are strong, not everyone benefits equally. Supporting the well-being of the elderly and those on fixed incomes in addition to assisting those who are struggling to attain the skills needed to contribute to the workforce is a priority.

“There is ample room for a greater proportion of our community to benefit from the sustained growth of our district.

“Understanding the local labour force and the opportunities that exist for training to support people into employment is key to spreading the benefits of the strong local economy, in addition to supporting the growth of housing stock to provide for the well-being of all families in our district.”

Note: Statistical data is to 31 March 2019 unless otherwise stated and is provided by Infometrics Ltd.

© Scoop Media

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