GDP rises on strength in services
The economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), grew 0.6 percent in the December 2017 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Growth was driven by increases in the service industries but was tempered by falls in the primary sector.
“Growth was widespread across many service industries, with business services, and rental hiring and real estate services providing momentum,” national accounts senior manager Gary Dunnet said. “Retail trade and wholesale trade were also key contributors to growth this quarter.”
Hot, dry weather appeared to have a negative impact this quarter on agriculture production, which fell 2.7 percent. Falling milk production was reflected in lower dairy manufacturing and dairy exports. In contrast, meat manufacturing was up, keeping pace with export demand for meat products.
Expenditure on GDP rose, underpinned by household spending and investment. Household spending was up 1.2 percent, influenced by people eating out more and spending more on groceries and alcohol. This was reflected in the retail trade and accommodation industry, with activity in food and beverage services and supermarkets increasing.
"Imports of capital goods such as aircrafts, factory equipment, and ICT increased considerably this quarter," Mr Dunnet said. “This was reflected in a 2.1 percent rise in investment of fixed assets.”
GDP per capita increased 0.1 percent this quarter, following a 0.2 percent increase in the September 2017 quarter.
Annual GDP growth for the year ended December 2017 was 2.9 percent. The size of the economy in current prices was $283 billion.