Economy shrinks 0.9% in December quarter

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.


Got a question about this story? Leave it in Comments & Questions below.

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags

Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

NZ Market Snapshot


Sym Price Change
USD 0.7143 0.0018 0.25%
AUD 0.9379 -0.0006 -0.06%
EUR 0.6567 0.0014 0.21%
GBP 0.5846 0.0014 0.24%
HKD 5.5402 0.0141 0.26%
JPY 74.6300 0.2360 0.32%


Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1262.4 -3.560 2016-10-24T00:
Oil Brent 52.4 0.660 2016-10-24T00:
Oil Nymex 50.5 -0.330 2016-10-24T00:
Silver Index 17.6 0.077 2016-10-24T00:


Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 6958.4 6998.8 6958.4 0.57%
NASDAQ 5290.3 5311.5 5257.4 1.00%
DAX 10743.9 10820.1 10710.7 0.47%
DJI 18197.1 18275.0 18145.7 0.43%
FTSE 7020.5 7067.3 7020.5 -0.49%
HKSE 23581.7 23590.5 23604.1 -0.19%
NI225 17298.6 17372.9 17234.4 0.62%
ASX 5408.5 5455.7 5408.5 0.61%