Tourism boosts sluggish Kiwi economy

Published on : Friday, December 18, 2015

Kiwi economyTourists who spent huge helped the New Zealand economy grow faster than expected, with official figures Thursday showing gross domestic product increased 0.9 per cent in the July-September quarter.


Higher visitor numbers boosted retail trade and accommodation services, which were up 1.6 percent in the quarter, while the services sector as a whole — accounting for 70 percent of the economy — rose 0.9 percent.


Statistics New Zealand said the quarterly increase — which was up from a revised 0.3 percent in the previous quarter — was driven by growth in manufacturing and service industries.


Annual economic growth in the 12 months to September was 2.3 per cent, weighed down by lower figures earlier in the year on the back of slumping dairy prices.


“The service industries were fuelled by greater domestic demand and spending by international visitors. Nine of the 11 service industries reported increases this quarter,” national accounts manager Gary Dunnet said.


Finance Minister Bill English attributed the softer first half of the year to the impact of lower global dairy prices on New Zealand, the world’s leading dairy exporter.


The central bank has since eased the official cash rate four times to reach a record low 2.5 percent to spur the stalling economy.


“New Zealand is a confident, open economy that responds quickly to international fluctuations and we are seeing that in the more positive performance that has occurred since July,” English added.

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