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New Zealand Economy

    Economy—overview: Since 1984 the government has accomplished major economic restructuring, moving an agrarian economy dependent on a concessionary British market access toward a more industrialized, free market economy that can compete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes, broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector, and contained inflationary pressures. Inflation remains among the lowest in the industrial world. Per capita GDP has been moving up toward the levels of the big West European economies. New Zealand's heavy dependence on trade leaves its growth prospects vulnerable to economic performance in Asia, Europe, and the US. The slump in demand in Asian markets largely explains the slight drop in GDP in 1998.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$61.1 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: -0.2% (1998)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$17,000 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 9%
    industry: 25%
    services: 66% (1997)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.1% (1998)

    Labor force: 1.86 million (1998)

    Labor force—by occupation: services 65.1%, industry 25.1%, agriculture 9.8% (1995)

    Unemployment rate: 7.6% (1998)

    revenues: $24.9 billion
    expenditures: $23.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY97/98 est.)

    Industries: food processing, wood and paper products, textiles, machinery, transportation equipment, banking and insurance, tourism, mining

    Industrial production growth rate: NA%

    Electricity—production: 35.534 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 18.72%
    hydro: 75.67%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 5.61% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 35.534 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: wheat, barley, potatoes, pulses, fruits, vegetables; wool, beef, dairy products; fish

    Exports: $12.9 billion (1998 est.)

    Exports—commodities: wool, lamb, mutton, beef, fish, cheese, chemicals, forestry products, fruits and vegetables, manufactures, dairy products, wood

    Exports—partners: Australia 20%, Japan 15%, US 10%, UK 6% (1997)

    Imports: $13 billion (1998 est.)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles and aircraft, petroleum, consumer goods, plastics

    Imports—partners: Australia 27%, US 19%, Japan 12%, UK 6% (1997)

    Debt—external: $53.2 billion (March 1998)

    Economic aid—donor: ODA, $123 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 New Zealand dollar (NZ$) = 100 cents

    Exchange rates: New Zealand dollars (NZ$) per US$1—1.85 (February 1999), 1.8629 (1998), 1.5083 (1997), 1.4543 (1996), 1.5235 (1995), 1.6844 (1994)

    Fiscal year: 1 July—30 June

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)