Free audio stream, including stories that are padlocked on our site. Listen on any device, anywhere. Updated twice daily. The audio stream takes several seconds to start on Android devices.Launch Radio player
New Zealand’s economy shrank by 1% over the first quarter of the year and 1`% for the year – the largest annual drop since march 1992, when the economy contracted 1.3%, according to GDP figures released by Statistics New Zealand this morning.
The slump in manufacturing was the main cause – activity declined 7.2% for the quarter and 5.4% for the year.
Construction, which has been in the doldrums for over a year, showed a minor increase of 0.4%.
Household spending also declined by 1.4% - the largest quarterly decline since June 1991, mostly due to a fall in purchases of major appliances and vehicles. National disposable income also dropped 0.8% for the year.
Food beverage and tobacco manufacturing shrank 4.8%, machinery and equipment shrank by 11.9% and metal products fell 16%.
Primary industry activity was flat, with all sectors recording either a nil increase in activity or a small contraction. That follows a 0.8% increase in the December 2008 quarter and a 5% increase the previous year.
Service industries activity showed a minor contraction of 0.1% for the quarter, mostly due to a 4.5% decrease in transport and communications activity.
The main contributor to this was a cutback in demand for postal and courier services. There was also a drop of 3.8% in wholesale trade.
The only significant increase was in finance insurance and businesses services (up 2.3%).
The figures also showed the seventh quarter of decline for residential building.