Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

GDP underlines importance of economic focus

GDP underlines importance of economic focus

Agriculture was up 4.3 percent, driven by higher milk production.

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"The fact that we've had moderate GDP growth now for the last six months, is a reminder to everyone not to take the New Zealand economic performance for granted".

The NZ economy is supposed to be humming on the back of strong population growth, improving export incomes and low interest rates.

The Kiwi fell alongside local government bond yields, hinting that investors interpreted the weaker outcome as likely to make for a dovish RBNZ posture in the near term. "What's more, with output rising in 11 of the 16 main sectors of the economy in the first quarter, there are still signs of strength", she said.

Construction fell 2.1 per cent, with all building sectors showing a fall.

Construction was down 2.1 percent, with all construction industries decreasing.

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The kiwi dollar traded at 72.51 USA cents from 72.59 cents immediately before the data was released.

The Finance Minister says the economy can't be taken for granted as new figures show lower than expected economic growth. The sector expanded 0.3 percent from the same period a year earlier. Food, beverage and tobacco manufacturing was also higher.

Revealing the impact of high population growth, the group said that GDP per capita fell 0.1%, following a larger 0.2% decline in the final three months of 2016.

Business investment grew 2.3 percent in the quarter, accelerating from a 1.9 percent pace in December, due to a 13 percent jump in plant, machinery and equipment investment.

On a year-on-year basis, the GDP growth of New Zealand came in at 3 percent.

Activity in the service industries was mixed, up 0.4 per cent over the March 2017 quarter. That helped offset contractions across all building and construction investment and an 18 percent decline in transport equipment investment.

"The worldwide liability position - a measure of our indebtedness to the rest of the world - is down again to 58.5 per cent of GDP, compared to over 80 per cent when the current government came into office", Mr Joyce says. Exports of goods and services dropped 0.4 percent, while imports of goods and services were up 1.3 percent.

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