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Financial News: New Zealand 2017 Growth Likely To Be Less

New Zealand 2017 Growth Likely To Be Less Than Anticipated

06/16/2017 - 10:06:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - New Zealand's economic growth this year is likely to be closer to 3.0 percent than the previous forecast of 3.5 percent, Kate Hickie, an economist at Capital Economics, said, citing the weaker-than-expected growth in the first three months of the year.

Official data showed on Thursday that quarterly GDP growth improved slightly to 0.5 percent in the first quarter from 0.4 percent in the previous quarter.

"While that would still be a fairly decent result, with core inflation set to remain subdued we doubt the RBNZ will start raising interest rates anytime soon," Hickie said.

The economist noted that after adverse weather conditions held back GDP growth at the end of last year, a strong rebound in growth had been expected in the first quarter.

The slower than expected growth was mainly due to a 2.1 percent fall in construction output, which took 0.1 percentage points of the quarterly GDP growth.

Hickie observed that the construction sector has been a key tailwind to GDP growth in the past few years and this fall marked the first decline in output since the second quarter of 2015.

That said, the economist expects a decent GDP growth for the year as evidence from building consents issued suggests there is a decent pipeline for construction work.

And with output rising in 11 of the 16 main sectors of the economy in the first quarter, there are still signs of strength, Hickie said.

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