26 Jun 2010

Productivity of export industries faltering

6:39 am on 26 June 2010

A study of New Zealand's productivity performance during the past 30 years shows export industries are faltering.

Productivity improvements by exporters are being outstripped by the consumer-related sector.

The study by Statistics New Zealand, the first of its kind, measures the economy's productivity over a period of 30 years.

It shows agriculture, forestry and fishing, along with the communications industry, led productivity gains in the 1980s and 1990s.

But productivity growth in primary industries, along with manufacturing, slowed dramatically in the late 1990s.

Agricultural productivity recovered in the six-year period to 2006, while manufacturing productivity growth continued to weaken.

Strong productivity growth continued in the telecommunications sector, while the retail and finance industries made greater strides during this latter period.