TODAY |

GDP rises 1.6 per cent for March quarter, while household spending up

New Zealand's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) increased by 1.6 per cent for the March 2021 quarter. 

Source: istock.com

The rise comes after the end of 2020 saw a dip of 1 per cent, while the year to December 2020 saw a decline of 2.9 per cent which was the largest annual fall in GDP New Zealand has ever experienced.

The year to March 2021 saw a fall of 2.3 per cent. 

Stats NZ attributed the fall largely to the Level 4 lockdown impact in the June 2020 quarter and the ongoing Covid-19 related disruptions. 

Stats NZ's Paul Pascoe said "after an easing of economic activity in the December quarter, we’ve seen broad-based growth in the first quarter of 2021".

"This is despite Auckland being in Alert Level 3 lockdown for 10 days, and continued border restrictions."

"Households spent more on accommodation, eating out, and purchasing big ticket items such as furniture, audio visual equipment, and motor vehicles," Pascoe said. 

"This helped support the growth in retail trade and accommodation industry and wholesale trade industry."

Business services, health care and social assistance, and information media and telecommunications industries also saw higher activity. 

An increase in the volume of import duties on items such as tobacco and motor vehicles also contributed to the rise, while construction saw a 6.6 per cent rise, after a 8.4 per cent fall in the December quarter. 

"The construction industry has returned to near record levels of activity with historically high volumes of residential building work contributing to overall activity," Pascoe said.