Retail growth leads rise in GDP

shopping (1)Spending in the retail and accommodation industries drove an increase in New Zealand’s GDP in the December quarter.

The 2.5 per cent increase in retail and accommodation to $144 million was led by a 1.3 per cent increase in household spending, with most of this coming from food and beverage services as well as supermarkets. Spending on clothing and footwear also saw strong growth.

This marked the strongest quarterly growth in retail and accommodation since the 2011 Rugby World Cup, according to Stats NZ.

Transport, postal and warehousing, construction, rental, hiring and real estate services, information, media and telecommunications also contributed to the increased GDP.

New Zealand’s overall economy grew 0.6 per cent over the quarter, and 2.8 per cent over the year, with the economy worth $293 billion.

The increase was partly offset by a fall in the primary industries, Stats NZ said, with six out of 16 industries experiencing decreases over the period.

Agriculture, mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, arts and recreation, as well as electricity, gas, water and waste services all saw decreases.

“Reduced livestock production had an impact on agriculture, while mining activity was again affected by the disruptions at the Pohokura field after a partial recovery last quarter,” Stats NZ national accounts senior manager Gary Dunnet said.

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