Summary of gross domestic product for the March 2019 quarter

Gross domestic product, New Zealand’s headline
measure of economic growth, rose by 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019. This is the same quarterly growth rate that
we saw in the December quarter 2018. Our goods-producing industries made a strong
contribution to GDP growth, rising 2.0 percent. Activity in the construction industry was
up 3.7 percent and continued to build on a solid foundation from the last quarter. We saw the impact of this on our investment
expenditure, with non-residential and residential building rising by 9.9 and 2.7 percent, respectively. Strength in manufacturing also contributed,
reflecting rises in food, beverage, and tobacco manufacturing. Output from the services sector makes up about
two-thirds of New Zealand’s economy, and this includes industries such as retail, financial
services, health, and education. This quarter, the services sector experienced
their lowest quarterly growth rate in about six years, rising 0.2 percent. These subdued results were reflected in lower
household expenditure on services. Rises in transport services and health care
and social assistance were countered by falls in retail, accommodation, and restaurants
and rental, hiring, and real estate services. Falls in accommodation and restaurants follow
stronger activity in the December quarter 2018 while the decline in real estate services
reflects fewer property transactions this quarter. Annual average growth in the services sector,
however, remains robust, at 3.1 percent.

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