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New Zealand Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewOver the past 40 years, the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy, dependent on concessionary British market access, to a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes - but left behind some at the bottom of the ladder - and broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector.

Per capita income rose for ten consecutive years until 2007 in purchasing power parity terms, but fell in 2008-09. Debt-driven consumer spending drove robust growth in the first half of the decade, fueling a large balance of payments deficit that posed a challenge for policymakers. Inflationary pressures caused the central bank to raise its key rate steadily from January 2004 until it was among the highest in the OECD in 2007-08. The higher rate attracted international capital inflows, which strengthened the currency and housing market while aggravating the current account deficit. Rising house prices, especially in Auckland, have become a political issue in recent years, as well as a policy challenge in 2016 and 2017, as the ability to afford housing has declined for many.

The economy fell into recession before the start of the global financial crisis and contracted for five consecutive quarters in 2008-09. In line with global peers, the central bank cut interest rates aggressively and the government developed fiscal stimulus measures. The economy pulled out of recession in 2009, and achieved 2%-3% growth from 2011 to 2016. Nevertheless, key trade sectors remain vulnerable to weak external demand and lower commodity prices. In the aftermath of the 2010 Canterbury earthquakes, the government has continued programs to expand export markets, develop capital markets, invest in innovation, raise productivity growth, and develop infrastructure, while easing its fiscal austerity. Expanding New Zealand’s network of free trade agreements remains a top foreign policy priority.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$174.8 billion (2016 est.)
$170.1 billion (2015 est.)
$165.2 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$179.4 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate2.8% (2016 est.)
3% (2015 est.)
3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$37,100 (2016 est.)
$36,600 (2015 est.)
$36,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving20.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
19.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
19.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 57.4%
government consumption: 18.5%
investment in fixed capital: 23.5%
investment in inventories: 0.3%
exports of goods and services: 26.7%
imports of goods and services: -26.4% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 4.2%
industry: 26.5%
services: 69.2% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Labor force2.562 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 7%
industry: 19%
services: 74% (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate5.1% (2016 est.)
5.4% (2015 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 15%
male: 14.3%
female: 15.8% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Distribution of family income - Gini index36.2 (1997)
Budgetrevenues: $67.61 billion
expenditures: $67.01 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues37.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt34% of GDP (2016 est.)
35% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.6% (2016 est.)
0.3% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate2.5% (31 December 2009)
5% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate5% (31 December 2016 est.)
5.76% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$34.99 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$31.58 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$115 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$102.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$373.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$342.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$74.35 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$74.42 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$65.96 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Agriculture - productsdairy products, sheep, beef, poultry, fruit, vegetables, wine, seafood, wheat and barley
Industriesagriculture, forestry, fishing, logs and wood articles, manufacturing, mining, construction, financial services, real estate services, tourism
Industrial production growth rate2.6% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$4.957 billion (2016 est.)
-$5.827 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$31.96 billion (2016 est.)
$34.41 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesdairy products, meat and edible offal, logs and wood articles, fruit, crude oil, wine
Exports - partnersChina 17.6%, Australia 16.9%, US 11.8%, Japan 6% (2015)
Imports$34.83 billion (2016 est.)
$35.8 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiespetroleum and products, mechanical machinery, vehicles and parts, electrical machinery, textiles
Imports - partnersChina 19.5%, Australia 11.9%, US 11.7%, Japan 6.6%, Germany 4.7%, Thailand 4.1% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$18.55 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$14.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$81.39 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$83.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$71.19 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$74.17 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$59.08 billion (31 December 2009)
Exchange ratesNew Zealand dollars (NZD) per US dollar -
1.441 (2016 est.)
1.4279 (2015 est.)
1.4279 (2014 est.)
1.2039 (2013 est.)
1.23 (2012 est.)
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March
note: this is the fiscal year for tax purposes

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017