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NZ GDP up 0.2% in December quarter

Thursday 24th March 2011

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Gross domestic product rose 0.2% in the December quarter as the country managed to stave off a recession in the second half of 2010.

The rise in the latest period followed a decline of 0.2% in the three months to September.

Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) said the rise in GDP in the December quarter was due to a rise in goods-producing industries.

SNZ national accounts manager Rachael Milicich said a rebound in manufacturing activity during the quarter had been mostly offset by falls in other parts of the economy.

Notable movements by industry in the December quarter included:

- manufacturing up 2.5%, mainly due to metal product and machinery and equipment manufacturing;

- real estate and business services up 0.9%, mainly driven by business services;

- forestry and logging up 6.6%, reflecting continued overseas demand for New Zealand logs;

- wholesale trade down 2.7%, following four quarters of growth;

- retail, accommodation, and restaurants down 2.1%.

The expenditure measure of GDP was up 0.4% in the December quarter, following a fall of 0.3% in the September quarter.

The volume of goods and services bought by households was up 0.2%, while investment in fixed assets was up 4.8% due to increases in transport equipment and nonresidential building investment, SNZ said.

Imports of goods rose 7%, the largest increase since the March 2004 quarter, while exports of goods rose 4.1%, mainly due to higher volumes of dairy and meat products.

GDP for the year ended December was 1.5% higher than for the year ended December 2009, while real gross national disposable income (RGNDI) increased 4.6% over the same period.

The main difference between GDP and RGNDI for the year was a $3.56 billion inflow of reinsurance transfers from the rest of the world, related to the September Canterbury earthquake, SNZ said.



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