NZ Council of Trade Union economist Craig Renney said that GDP figures showed the strength of the New Zealand economy with GDP growth of 2% in the September quarter. Together with upward revisions to previous GDP data the economy is in a stronger position than many economists had been predicting.
The private sector led the growth with expansion being particularly strong in construction, transport, wholesale trade, and business services. Exports of goods and services rose 7.8%. Business investment was also elevated, with growth of 2.8% recorded for the quarter. Overall GDP per capita rose by 2.4%.
“The data showed that New Zealand has outperformed our international peers. Quarterly GDP growth of 2% compared very favourably with Australia (0.6%), USA (0.7%), the EU (0.4%) and the UK (-0.2%). It was well in excess of the OECD average of 0.4% GDP growth.
“Together with very low unemployment, and very low public debt this demonstrates New Zealand’s enviable position as it recovers from the pandemic and faces some economic headwinds over the next year.
“To date, New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic response appears to have delivered better outcomes, and improved economic wellbeing, more than many other comparable countries.
“This data cements our view that the economy is doing better than many people had expected. The strength of the private sector shows that it is not just government activity that is leading that growth. This should give New Zealanders comfort that the economy is well-placed to manage any disruption over the next year. The Government should use this strength, and the better than anticipated growth to make the long-term investments needed in New Zealand. We should be concentrating on addressing our infrastructure backlog, tackling our skills needs, and combatting climate change so that higher growth can be more sustainable in the future. We should be making sure that working people are benefitting from this growth”.