The region was the fifth fastest growing region of the 15 regions reported on, behind Taranaki, Southland, West Coast and Otago.
Agriculture and forestry were major contributors to the strong growth with increases in sector GDP of 39% and 35% respectively. The third largest contributor was the public administration, defence, and safety sector, with an increase in GDP of 24%.
"The long-term outlook for agriculture is positive," Mayor Jono Naylor said, "so the sector will continue to support economic growth in the region." He said he hoped the new data will encourage investors to look at the region differently and the strengths the region offers are not to be overlooked.
Manufacturing remains the largest sector in the region, accounting for 9.9% of total GDP in 2010. While the sector increased by just 1.5% between 2007 and 2010, this was better than the 5.5% decline in the total New Zealand manufacturing sector. Agriculture was the second largest sector, with a share of 8.9%.
While population growth in the region was weaker than national population growth over this period, the region was still able to achieve total GDP growth of 12% between 2007 and 2010. This represents a three year GDP increase of $855 million and was slightly stronger than the 11.7% increase for all of New Zealand. The Manawatū-Wanganui region ranked seventh out of the 15 regions.