Economy shrinks 0.9% in December quarter

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New Zealand’s economy shrank a further 0.9% in the last three months of 2008, according to figures released by Statistics New Zealand this morning.

The drop was in line with economists’ forecasts, which were in the range of a 0.8%- 1.1% drop.

The figure takes the annual rise in GDP for the year to a minimal 0.2%.

The main driver of the drop was in goods producing industries such as manufacturing and construction, which showed an overall decline of 3.9%.

Of the nine manufacturing industries only food, beverage and tobacco showed an increase (up 1.1%). Activity in construction fell 4.4% although non-building construction work - which covers infrastructure such as bridges, roading repairs, electricity and communication networks, increased.

The country’s primary and service industries both showed small increase in activity. – The primary sector activity increased 1.6%, with agriculture, and 4%, the main component of this, and within agriculture, dairying being the principle driver.

Service industry activity also rose, albeit at a much more slight figure of 0.8%. This follows two quarters of shrinkage. Finance, insurance and business services were the main contributor, up 2.2%.

Government administration and defence activity also rose, by 2.3%.
More recent figures released this morning also point to a slowing economy. The February trade balance was a surplus of $489 million.

Within that balance figure though both exports and imports are falling.
The value of the country’s exports was $3.5 billion, down $243 million (6.6%). This is the first fall in exports since August 2007.

The value of imports was $3 billion, down $490 million (14.2%). Imports have been showing a steep decline since September last year.

 


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NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.6682 0.0000 0.00%
AUD 0.8900 0.0000 0.00%
EUR 0.6004 0.0000 0.00%
GBP 0.4291 0.0000 0.00%
HKD 5.1867 0.0000 0.00%
JPY 82.0970 0.0000 0.00%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1163.5 -2.500 2015-07-02T00:
Oil Brent 62.6 -0.180 2015-07-02T00:
Oil Nymex 56.9 -0.010 2015-07-02T00:
Silver Index 15.6 -0.015 2015-07-02T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5841.5 5872.6 5841.5 -0.01%
NASDAQ 5024.3 5027.5 5013.1 -0.08%
DAX 11082.0 11123.2 11099.4 -0.37%
DJI 17763.3 17825.5 17757.9 -0.16%
FTSE 6630.5 6630.8 6630.5 -0.67%
HKSE 26349.8 26402.8 26282.3 -0.83%
NI225 20476.7 20557.5 20522.5 0.08%