Household spending on the rise

JAMES WEIR
Last updated 12:09 28/11/2013

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Household spending and investment were key drivers of economic growth in the March year, with investment in housing alone up $2 billion in the year.

Statistics NZ figures out today show total household spending was up $3.5b or 2.9 per cent in the March year. Investment increased $3b or by almost 8 per cent.

Investment in fixed assets was worth $41.8b, almost back to levels last seen in 2008 before the global financial crisis hit.

Investment in residential buildings was the main driver of the increase in total investment, rising 22.7 per cent to $11b.

Investment in housing slumped heavily in 2009 and again in 2010, followed by two years of near-stagnation before the latest rebound.

"The main driver was investment in residential buildings, which rose $2b in the March 2013 year," Statistics NZ acting national accounts manager Steffi Schuster said.

"This is the largest year-on-year increase since this series began and is the first significant increase in residential building investment since 2008."

The statistics released today also showed the size of the economy grew to $211.6 billion in the March 2013 year. GDP in current prices was up 2 per cent from the previous year.

The main sources of income from production were wages and salaries, and business profits.

"While income from employment was up in 2013, business profits fell," Schuster said.

"This particularly reflects lower profits in agriculture after two years of strong growth."

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- Fairfax Media

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