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New Zealand GDP Gains 0.6 Percent In Q4

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New Zealand's gross domestic product expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2017, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday.

That missed expectations for an increase of 0.8 percent but was unchanged from the three months prior.

On a yearly basis, GDP was up 2.9 percent. That also missed forecasts for 3.1 percent, although it was up from 2.7 percent in the third quarter.

The size of the economy in current prices was NZ$283 billion.

Growth was driven by increases in the service industries but was tempered by falls in the primary sector.

"Growth was widespread across many service industries, with business services, and rental hiring and real estate services providing momentum," national accounts senior manager Gary Dunnet said. "Retail trade and wholesale trade were also key contributors to growth this quarter."

Hot, dry weather appeared to have a negative impact this quarter on agriculture production, which fell 2.7 percent. Falling milk production was reflected in lower dairy manufacturing and dairy exports. In contrast, meat manufacturing was up, keeping pace with export demand for meat products.

Expenditure on GDP rose, underpinned by household spending and investment. Household spending was up 1.2 percent, influenced by people eating out more and spending more on groceries and alcohol. This was reflected in the retail trade and accommodation industry, with activity in food and beverage services and supermarkets increasing.

"Imports of capital goods such as aircrafts, factory equipment, and ICT increased considerably this quarter," Dunnet said. "This was reflected in a 2.1 percent rise in investment of fixed assets."

GDP per capita increased 0.1 percent in Q4, following a 0.2 percent increase in the previous three months.

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