New Zealand GDP Expands 0.6% On Quarter In Q1
New Zealand's gross domestic product grew a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2019, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday - matching forecasts and unchanged from the previous quarter.
On an annualized yearly basis, GDP was up 2.5 percent - exceeding forecasts for an increase of 2.3 percent, which would have been unchanged.
Activity in the goods-producing industries rose 2.0 percent in the March 2019 quarter. The growth was mainly driven by increased activity in the construction industry (up 3.7 percent), its largest increase since the September 2017 quarter. The rise in construction was reflected in investment in non-residential building (up 9.9 percent) and residential buildings (up 2.7 percent).
Manufacturing activity rose 1.4 percent in the March 2019 quarter, after a 0.4 percent decline in the December 2018 quarter. Increased food, beverage, and tobacco manufacturing contributed strongly to the rise this quarter. There were also increases in metal product manufacturing; non-metallic mineral manufacturing; and petroleum, chemical, polymer, and rubber product manufacturing.
Activity in the service industries rose 0.2 percent in the March 2019 quarter, the slowest growth rate since the September 2012 quarter. Of the 11 service industries, seven recorded growth.
The main drivers of this quarter's growth were health care and social assistance (up 1.7 percent) and transport, postal, and warehousing (up 1.2 percent). Retail, accommodation, and restaurants fell 0.5 percent. Lower activity in accommodation and restaurants reflected a dip in visitor arrivals to New Zealand in February and March.
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing production fell 2.3 percent in the March 2019 quarter, after a 0.3 percent fall in the December 2018 quarter. The fall in the latest quarter was due to unfavorable weather conditions. Agriculture (down 2.3 percent), forestry and logging (down 1.2 percent), and fishing (down 0.4 percent) all declined. This was offset by a rise in mining (up 9.6 percent), due to higher exploration activity along with an increase in oil and gas extraction.
Household spending grew 0.5 percent in the March 2019 quarter, after a 1.0 percent rise in the December 2018 quarter. Growth was subdued this quarter due to lower spending on services (up 0.3 percent). This was the weakest growth in services expenditure since the December 2014 quarter. Spending on durable and non-durable goods increased 1.4 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
Investment in fixed assets was up 2.4 percent in the March 2019 quarter. Higher construction activity was reflected in higher construction-related investment expenditure. Business investment (all investment less residential buildings) rose 1.9 percent.News are provided by