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New Zealand recorded another quarter of continued economic growth, confirming that the Government’s sensible economic programme is taking New Zealand in the right direction, Finance Minister Bill English says.
“A reduction in dairy production contributed to quarterly growth of 0.2 per cent coming in at the lower end of market expectations, but still resulted in annual growth of 2.6 per cent,” he said. “A strong economy provides Kiwi families with new jobs, higher incomes and opportunities to get ahead.
“We are seeing solid, sustainable economic growth that is giving businesses around the country the confidence to invest another dollar and hire another person.”
74,000 jobs have been created in the past year, and average annual wages have increased by $5,700 in the last four years. Treasury forecasts they will rise by a further $7,000 to around $63,000 by mid-2019, considerably faster than inflation.
“Sustained economic growth is translating into real benefits for New Zealand households. But we need to stay on course to really lift our long-term economic performance.”
The latest quarter was driven in part by the expected reduction in dairy production as a result of drought conditions, with agriculture down 2.3 per cent. Mining activity was down 7.8 per cent, whereas retail trade and accommodation increased 2.4 per cent and construction was up 2.5 per cent.
Average annual economic growth was 3.2 per cent.
“The lower dairy output was in line with Treasury’s forecasts, which see the economy continuing to grow at around 2.8 per cent on average over the next four years.
“This results highlights that New Zealand is closely tied to international markets, and risks are ever-present.”
New Zealand’s 2.6 per cent GDP growth in the year to March compares with 2.3 per cent in Australia, 2.4 per cent in the United Kingdom, 2.7 per cent in the United States, 2.1 per cent in Canada, negative 1 per cent in Japan and 1 per cent in Germany. Average growth across the OECD was 1.9 per cent.
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