New Zealand’s gross domestic product was up 3.1 percent on year in the fourth quarter of 2021, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday.
That missed expectations for an increase of 3.3 percent following the 0.3 percent contraction in the three months prior.
On a seasonally adjusted quarterly basis, GDP rose 3.0 percent – also shy of forecasts for an expansion of 3.2 percent but up from the 3.7 percent contraction in the previous three months.
Service industries rose 2.5 percent. The main contributor was the business services industry, which rose 7.8 percent. This follows a 1.0 percent fall in the September 2021 quarter. The largest drivers were advertising, market research, and management services; scientific, architectural, and engineering services; and computer system design and related services.
Retail, accommodation, and restaurants was up 6.7 percent in the December 2021 quarter. Retail trade was up 10.7 percent. Accommodation was down, largely due to the continued lack of international tourists, while restaurants and bars were up, with COVID restrictions easing in the December 2021 quarter.
Wholesale trade rose 4.8 percent in the quarter, following a 1.1 percent fall in the September 2021 quarter.
Goods producing industries rose 6.5 percent. Manufacturing was the largest contributor to the rise, up 6.5 percent. This rise was seen across all subindustries, with the exception of food, beverage, and tobacco manufacturing. The largest rises took place in transport equipment, machinery, and equipment manufacturing and metal product manufacturing. Growth in these subindustries was reflected in an 8.1 percent increase in investment in plant, machinery and equipment, and a 15.4 percent increase in exports of metal products, machinery and equipment. Construction rose 8.7 percent in the quarter, with all subindustries growing.
Primary industries fell 2.2 percent. Agriculture was the largest contributor, down 3.8 percent, mainly driven by falls in beef cattle farming and dairy cattle farming. Fishing, aquaculture and agriculture, forestry, and fishing support services was down 0.7 percent. These falls were partially offset by a rise in mining of 9.5 percent.
GDP per capita rose 2.9 percent, while real gross national disposable income rose 2.5 percent. Household spending rose 5.2 percent in the December 2021 quarter, following a fall of 7.1 percent in the September 2021 quarter.
This rise in household spending was driven by spending on durables, up 16.9 percent, and spending on services, up 3.6 percent. Households spent more on durable goods such as clothing and footwear and household contents and services. Spending on non-durables increased by 2.7 percent.
For all of 2021, GDP was up 5.6 percent.