Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.5 percent in the March 2018 quarter, Stats NZ said. This followed a 0.6 percent increase in the December 2017 quarter. Growth in service industries more than offset a fall in construction activity.
“The service industries continue to show growth, led by business services and telecommunication services,” national accounts senior manager Gary Dunnet said. “At the industry level, 13 out of 16 industries increased this quarter.”
Agriculture recovered in the March 2018 quarter, up 0.4 percent, following a 2.8 percent fall last quarter. A rebound in milk production contributed the most to the rise, largely due to improved weather conditions, after hot, dry weather in the December 2017 quarter.
Construction cooled off, down 1.0 percent in the quarter but still up 1.4 percent for the year.
Household spending was flat in March 2018, after increasing 1.2 percent last quarter. This movement aligns with retail industry production, which rose just 0.3 percent this quarter.
“Household spending on services was held back by reduced spending on second-hand vehicles, petrol, and clothing,” Mr Dunnet said. “The discovery of stink bugs in car shipments during the quarter has reduced the volume of cars available for sale.”
Growth in business investment, particularly in plant, machinery, and equipment, was supported by an increase in the import of capital goods. Exports fell across a wide range of goods, while export services were buoyed by tourism.
GDP per capita was flat this quarter, following a 0.1 percent increase in the December 2017 quarter.
Annual GDP growth for the year ended March 2018 was 2.7 percent.
The size of the economy in current prices was $286 billion.
Source: Stats NZ