24 Jun 2010

Economic growth eases slightly

7:37 pm on 24 June 2010

Economic growth continued during the first three months of the year but eased a little to a slowdown in the production of goods.

Statistics New Zealand says production rose 0.6% in the March quarter, compared to a 0.9% increase in the previous three months.

Goods produced rose by 1% in the quarter compared to a 3.7% increase in the previous three months.

Manufacturing output increased by 1.6%, but this too was down from the December quarter's 5.3% surge in production.

Fishing, forestry and mining were strong performers, and construction recorded its strongest quarter in more than two years.

However, the services economy stalled in the March quarter with retailers, accommodation and restaurants the poorest performers.

Spending by consumers rose by less than in the previous quarter, although this was partly offset by increased business investment, driven mainly by oil exploration.

Gross Domestic Product for the year ending March was 0.4% lower than the previous year.