NZ per capita GDP growth lowest since 2011

By Leith van Onselen

Statistics New Zealand has released national accounts figures for the December quarter of 2018, with Gross domestic product (GDP) rising by 0.6% over the quarter to be up 2.3% year-on-year. GDP per capita rose by 0.1% over the December quarter and rose by 0.9% year-on-year – the ” lowest annual GDP per capita growth since 2011″.

As shown below, service industries drove the GDP growth:

Real gross national disposable income (RGNDI) – which measures the real purchasing power of New Zealand’s disposable income – fell by 0.2% in the December quarter, driven by a 3% decline in the terms-of-trade, but was up 2.8% year-on-year:

A population increase of 0.4% over the December 2018 quarter meant RGNDI per capita fell 0.6% over the quarter but rose by 0.9% year-on-year.

Statistics New Zealand points out that New Zealand’s economy is growing above the OECD average:

However, it should be noted that New Zealand’s population growth is among the fastest in the world at 1.9%, owing to the nation’s high immigration program.

Thus, New Zealand’s growth figures are being heavily inflated, and per capita growth is soft, much like Australia.

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