NZ economy remains resilient in face of COVID impacts

Today’s GDP figures show the economy remains resilient and among the best in the world despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and reinforces the steps the government has taken to support the economy and secure the recovery, Grant Robertson said.

GDP declined 1 percent in the last three months of 2020, following a 13.9 percent jump in the September quarter and 11 percent fall in the quarter before that.

“It is not surprising that these numbers are jumping around. The world is dealing with the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and there will be volatility for some time,” Grant Robertson said.

“New Zealand had an extremely strong bounce-back in the September quarter and some of that has evened out in the December quarter.”

The economy was 0.9 percent below where it was in the December quarter last year.

“Nevertheless, we outperformed the countries we compare ourselves to on this measure.”

Australia dropped by 1.1 percent, United States by 2.4 percent, the United Kingdom by 7.8 percent and Japan by 1.3 percent.

“There is also a lot of volatility within sectors in the economy. For example, on these measures construction declined in the quarter but activity remains at historically high levels,” Grant Robertson said.

These figures show that the overall all size of the economy was $322 billion in 2020. This compares favourably with December’s Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update forecast of $307 billion.

“Our economy remains strong. We will stick to our plan that has successfully helped New Zealand through this pandemic, keeping New Zealanders safe, accelerating the recovery and dealing with complex and long-standing issues such as climate change, housing affordability and child poverty. We will keep working with sectors who are still facing the impacts of COVID to support them to recover and rebuild,” Grant Robertson said.

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