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More evidence of solid September quarter growth

Treasurer Bill English today welcomed evidence that exports grew faster than imports in the September quarter.

"Exports grew by 10.5% in the September quarter from June. The evidence points towards a strong rebound in economic growth in the September quarter.

"Today's overseas trade data showed the value of New Zealand's exports increased more rapidly than imports did in the September quarter. This suggests that net exports made a positive contribution to GDP in September. Imports also increased in the quarter but the trend is slowing. Excluding the import of aircraft in the quarter, imports rose around 4% from June. Including the aircraft, imports rose 9.0% on the quarter.

"Today's positive export data comes on top of other indicators of strong economic activity. Employment increased in September and the unemployment rate fell. Retail spending recorded its strongest quarterly growth rate for over two years. Business and consumer confidence has steadied at solid levels and firms reported increased economic activity in the quarter.

"It is encouraging that the strength in exports was widespread across sectors in September. Dairy, fish, and wool exports all recorded double digit growth in the quarter. Exports of wood, meat products and manufacturing goods were also very strong.

"The annual trade deficit figure disguises the fact that exports are showing solid growth. Exports will strengthen further.

Treasury is picking exports will grow by 8% over the coming year. This is not surprising given the competitive exchange rate, low interest rates, and the strengthening international economy," said Mr English.

Ends

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