NZ economy rebounds in December quarter


The Government’s efforts to support the recovery have been reflected in the solid rebound in GDP today which shows the economy remains resilient as we look to the next stage of the recovery with the opening of our borders and return of tourists, Grant Robertson said.

GDP rose 3 percent in the December quarter. On an annual basis the economy was 5.6 percent larger than the previous year. The size of the economy was $350 billion.

“The robust economy and our strong fiscal position means we are in a good position to support New Zealanders dealing with cost of living increases. That is why we are able to take swift action on fuel prices. More relief is coming in April and May too, with increases to Working for Families and Superannuation, and the Winter Energy Payment kicking in,” Grant Robertson said.

“The solid and broad-based rebound in the December quarter came as restrictions were eased in response to the Delta outbreak. Retail and hospitality, construction and manufacturing all recovered strongly, as did household spending and investment.

“The New Zealand economy finished 2021 in good shape and on an annual basis is trending at levels above where it was before the pandemic. It shows our actions in response to the pandemic are working. The support from the Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Resurgence Support Payment helped cushion the impacts of Delta and allowed businesses to bounce back quickly. Unemployment is at a record low, exports are up and we are in a strong fiscal position, with debt levels well below those of the countries we compare ourselves with.

“It’s a strong starting point for 2022 as we face the challenges of Omicron, a global energy crisis and ongoing supply chain disruptions from the pandemic. These are causing significant stress to many households. They will also weigh on growth figures for the current quarter.

“The opening of borders to foreign workers and tourists will also help accelerate the recovery and help boost the hospitality and tourism sectors. The experience overseas also indicates that household spending rebounds once the peak in Omicron cases passes.

“New Zealand also continues to outperform many of the countries we compare ourselves to.

“Compared with New Zealand’s 3 percent quarterly growth, the United States rose by 1.7 percent, Canada by 1.6 percent, Japan by 1.1 percent, the United Kingdom by 1 percent and the Euro area by 0.3 percent. Only Australia grew by more, up 3.4 percent.

“We know there is more to do and times are tough for many people. But we’re heading in the right direction. Our focus remains on keeping New Zealanders safe, accelerating the recovery and dealing with long-standing issues such as climate change, housing and child wellbeing despite the uncertainty and volatility globally,” Grant Robertson said.