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New Zealand Q4 GDP Advances 0.6%

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New Zealand's gross domestic product expanded a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2018, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday.

That was in line with expectations following the 0.3 percent gain in the previous three months.

Individually, service industries grew 0.9 percent, driving economic growth, while agriculture, forestry, and fishing industry was down 0.6 percent and construction was up 1.8 percent.

Household spending grew 1.3 percent in the December 2018 quarter, following a 1.0 percent rise in the September 2018 quarter.

Spending on services, particularly on restaurants and hotels, was the main contributor to this growth. Spending on food and non-alcoholic beverages, and on clothing and footwear, also grew strongly this quarter.

Investment in fixed assets was up 1.4 percent in the December 2018 quarter, following a revised 1.1 percent fall in the September 2018 quarter.

Business investment (all investment less residential buildings) rose 1.3 percent. Higher investment in intangibles (software, research and development, and exploration) was the main contributor to the increase.

Investment in residential and non-residential buildings, and in plant, machinery and equipment, also rose during the quarter. These areas of growth were partly offset by lower investment in transport equipment.

On a yearly basis, GDP gained 2.3 percent - shy of expectations for 2.5 percent and slowing from 2.6 percent in the three months prior.

GDP per capita increased 0.1 percent in December 2018 quarter, following a drop of 0.1 percent in the September 2018 quarter. For the December 2018 year, GDP per capita was up 0.9 percent, the lowest annual GDP per capita growth since 2011.

GDP grew 2.8 percent over the year ended December 2018.

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