It reported a 0.8 percent growth rate for New Zealand’s economy over the last three months of 2014. Together with increases in real estate services and manufacturing, this boosted growth for the December 2014 year to 3.3 percent – the highest annual increase since 2007.
Retail and accommodation increased 2.3 percent in the December 2014 quarter, buoyed by a 15 percent increase in international tourist spending. New Zealand household spending also increased 0.6 percent.
National accounts manager Gary Dunnet says some of the growth came from more spending by New Zealanders, but overseas visitors had a bigger impact. Chinese, US and UK visitors all increased their spending in 2014, although Australian visitors let us down by reining in their spending.
Manufacturing activity was also up this quarter, with an increase of 1 percent. The main driver was petroleum manufacturing, while imports of intermediate goods such as fuels, lubricants, and industrial supplies) also increased. Food, beverage, and tobacco manufacturing was up 1.5 percent, and exports of meat products and dairy products also rose.
The size of the economy (in current prices) was $238 billion for the year ended December 2014.