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Economy Grows 0.7 Percent In September Quarter

Gross Domestic Product: September 2000 quarter


Economic activity increased in the September 2000 quarter by 0.7 percent, according to information released today by Statistics New Zealand. This follows a 1.0 percent fall in the June quarter and brings the economy back towards the level recorded for the March quarter. With growth in three of the last four quarters, the economy grew 4.5 percent for the year to September, after recording 2.2 percent growth for the year to September 1999.

The decline in the June quarter was the result of an early close to the dairy season, which curtailed growth in farm production and primary food manufacture, and a drop in construction activity. In the September quarter, however, a strong start to the dairy season has reversed the June quarter result. The boost in dairy production, combined with lifts in household spending and business investment, led to the recovery. Seasonally adjusted statistics for both retail trade and residential building work put-in-place recorded increases for the September quarter. Export volumes, however, fell this quarter while import volumes remained flat.

Besides primary food manufacturing, most other manufacturing industries also recorded rises, as did energy, retail trade and air transport. The increase for the retail trade, accommodation and restaurants industry reflected increased household spending and tourist numbers. Short-term visitor arrivals for the September 2000 quarter were 9.7 percent higher than for the September 1999 quarter.

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After the rise in activity in the March quarter was offset by a fall in the June quarter, there was little change in the level of construction activity in the September quarter. Increased construction of residential buildings was matched by falls in non-residential building and other construction. Following a volatile twelve months, activity in this industry remains lower than it was a year ago.

Brian Pink GOVERNMENT STATISTICIAN

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