The economy grew by less than expected in the December quarter, but annual growth of 1.8 per cent still leaves New Zealand reasonably well placed compared to many other countries, Finance Minister Bill English says.
“The economy has now grown in 10 of the past 11 quarters, since emerging from the recession which started in New Zealand in early 2008,” Mr English says.
“The December quarter was challenging, as the economy continued to rebalance, with households saving a bit more and being careful with their spending. In addition, conditions were tough around the world, particularly in Europe.
“Quarterly numbers do move around a bit – the September quarter result was higher than expected, while December was lower than expected. We’re focused on the longer-term by pressing on with the Government’s programme to make the economy more competitive and productive.”
The data today included signs that
the economy is benefiting from an increase in net exports and
investment, which will help New Zealand over the long-term.
“Compared to a lot of other countries, we’re in pretty good shape,” Mr English says. “The New Zealand economy will continue to expand in 2012 and we have a number of opportunities that will provide impetus for solid growth over the next three years.
“The rebuilding of Christchurch will help drive domestic activity and our two largest trading partners, Australia and China, are forecast to maintain relatively high growth rates. In addition, our terms of trade will remain elevated on the back of demand for our major export commodities from emerging markets.”