Gdp Figures Point To Good New Year

  • Max Bradford
Enterprise and Commerce

Enterprise and Commerce Minister, Max Bradford, welcomed today's positive GDP figures which he said show New Zealand is reaping the rewards of export led growth.

The GDP figures showed that economic activity increased in the September quarter by 0.7 percent. The growth was export led with export volumes climbing 3.6 percent.

"This is the best quarterly result since June 1997. It indicates that New Zealand economy is turning the corner after two quarters of negative growth", said Mr Bradford. "All portents for next year look very good.

"Our exporters are seizing the initiative and showing the way," Mr Bradford said. "While the Alliance and Labour are talking doom and gloom and promising policies from the industrial ice age, our exporters are out there doing what they do best- selling New Zealand."

Mr Bradford said the biggest increases in activity occurred in manufacturing, communications and financial and business services.

"These businesses have benefited from a falling exchange rate, low interest rates and reductions in the costs of key inputs such as electricity and petrol. The Government wants to work with these businesses and help them leverage further off their success.

"The tariff reductions and tax cuts have also flowed into consumers pockets as household spending is up 2.1 percent on a year ago. People now have more money to buy the goods they need, while the removal of the tariffs in May and the introduction of parallel importing has meant cheaper cars and reductions in the price of some imported goods."

Mr Bradford said the yesterday's Balance of Payments figures also reflected the export led recovery with the Current Account deficit, improving by $393 million in the September quarter, after it had been adjusted for seasonal fluctuations. The increase was due to a $656 million improvement in the seasonally adjusted merchandise trade.