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GDP decreases 0.2 percent in March 2022 quarter - Stats NZ

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

GDP fell 0.2 percent in the March 2022 quarter, following a rise of 3.0 percent in the December 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said today.

Primary industries drove the decrease in GDP, down 1.2 percent in the quarter. Goods producing industries also experienced a slight decline, down 0.1 percent.

"We saw lower output in the food, beverage, and tobacco manufacturing sub-industry; and the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industry," national accounts industry and production senior manager Ruvani Ratnayake said.

"These declines corresponded to falls in related exports categories, including dairy products; meat products; agriculture and fishing products; and other food, beverage and tobacco products."

The service industry group, which makes up approximately two thirds of the economy, remained flat. This result reflects falls in some industries being offset by rises in others.

"The services industries saw a range of results in the March 2022 quarter. Education rose as early childcare centres were able to reopen to greater capacity, while activity in retail trade and transport support services was down in what is traditionally New Zealand’s peak tourist season," Ms Ratnayake said.

The expenditure measure of GDP was down 0.1 percent this quarter.

A fall in net exports, driven by falling exports of goods and services, was offset by rises in household consumption expenditure, government expenditure, and gross fixed capital formation.

The change in economic activity came in a quarter marked by the community spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. The March 2022 quarter included low travel due to border restrictions. However, there were fewer domestic restrictions than in previous quarters.

Today’s results represent the first official estimate of economic activity in the March 2022 quarter. Stats NZ continues to review methods and data sources used in compiling GDP, and alternative data sources are used where required.

"As per our standard practice, we expect to refine and update this initial view as more complete data becomes available," Ms Ratnayake said.

Economic activity has shown a greater degree of volatility since the March 2020 quarter due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated response measures.

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