Solid economic growth amid global uncertainty

  • Bill English

The economy posted solid growth in the September quarter, despite considerable global uncertainty, Finance Minister Bill English says.

Statistics New Zealand today confirmed gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.8 per cent in the September quarter. The economy has grown in nine out of the past 10 quarters. GDP grew by 1.9 per cent over the last year.

"It’s pleasing to see growth picking up again, after a relatively flat second quarter, on the back of an increase in manufacturing and a boost to tourism and spending from the Rugby World Cup," Mr English says.

"This result was achieved against a backdrop of global uncertainty. Since then the global outlook has worsened as Europe seeks solutions to its sovereign debt problems.

"We face challenges from increasingly volatile global financial markets, reduced demand for our products in some markets and a high Kiwi dollar.

"But, the outlook for New Zealand's exports remains positive and rebuilding in Canterbury will have a positive impact as it picks up next year.

"The rebuild, along with high export prices and interest rates at 40-year lows, gives us confidence the economy will continue to experience moderate growth next year.

"We’re also confident this recovery will be built on a sound platform of higher savings, exports and productive investment, rather than the excessive borrowing, consumption and government spending of much of the past decade.

"Returning to Budget surplus in 2014/15, lifting savings and exports and increasing the competitiveness of the economy will remain the focus of the Government’s programme," Mr English says.