Jueves, 23 Marcha, 2017

NZ economy expands less than expected in fourth quarter

FSMNews New Zealand Q4 GDP Grows 0.4%, Missing Forecasts
Manuel Armenta | 21 Marcha, 2017, 07:33

Gross domestic product expanded 0.4 per cent in the three months ended December 31, following a revised 0.8 per cent increase in the September quarter, Statistics New Zealand said.

"Growth in service industries was partly offset by weaker activity in primary industries also flowing through into manufacturing". Economists in a median estimate had projected quarterly growth of 0.7%, translating into an annualized gain of 3.1%.

Arts, recreation, and other services, climbed 3.8 percent, with fix and maintenance services the largest contributor. The services sector expanded 0.7% while activity in the primary industries fell 1.0%.

Agriculture was down 0.6 percent, due to falling milk production, the bureau said.

Manufacturing production fell 1.6%, driven by falls in food, beverage, and tobacco manufacturing, and in transport equipment, machinery and equipment manufacturing.

ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley, who had predicted the economy would grow by 0.9 per cent, said the Kaikoura quake appeared to have had a negative impact, cutting the transport sector.

Inventories gained NZ$906 million, due to distribution and manufacturing inventories.

The New Zealand dollar dropped against all other major currencies shortly after the figures were released. Imports of goods and services added 1.9 percent, due to imports of machinery and plant.

The GDP per capita declined 0.2% during the December quarter, compared to the two consecutive increases from the June and September quarters both at 0.3%. Similarly, rates of inequality in New Zealand have grown at the fastest levels seen in the developed world despite GDP doubling.

In current prices, the size of the New Zealand economy was $261 billion.

"GDP may be up slightly, but once adjusted for population growth, the New Zealand economy actually went backwards in the last quarter of 2016", said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw. The kiwi dollar is now trading at $0.6997 against the greenback, down by 0.16% or $0.00111, at the time of writing, 0922 GMT. Unfortunately, the lower-than-expected fourth quarter GDP data SNZ released sent the kiwi back in bear market.