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Manawatu regional growth continues despite dairy downturn

Wednesday December 9 2015


Infometrics estimates economic growth in the region rose 1.9% in the year to September 2015. Nationally, GDP is estimated to have increased by 2.8%.

In Palmerston North, GDP increased by 2.1% over the period. GDP growth was slower in the Manawatū District at 1.3%, reflecting the greater impact of the dairy sector on the local economy. 

The region has experienced strong growth in the value of non-residential building consents issued, an increase of 68% in the year to September 2015.

The value of residential consents fell during the period by 4.4%.

Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith says residential building will increase in the coming months.

"The Council has seen a sustained lift in the value of consents approved for residential building activity in October and November and new applications are being processed this month too," says Mayor Smith. 

There are clear signs of stronger employment growth already in the region, with MSD job seeker benefit numbers in the region declining by 6% from September 2014. 

"I am pleased to see that the local tourism industry is also getting a boost from the increase in flights to Manawatū, as guest nights climbed 7.4% over the period."

Mayor Smith says he expects economic growth to continue in 2016. 

"Lower interest rates for households, farmers and businesses and strong prices for sheep and beef are helping to improve confidence in the region," he says.

The Manawatū Region Quarterly Economic Monitor is produced by Infometrics for Palmerston North City Council.

Download a copy of the full report: Manawatū Region Quarterly Economic Monitor - September 2015 (PDF, 285kb)