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Manawatu population continues to grow

Monday March 14 2016

The latest Manawatū Economic Monitor report confirms a moderate pace of economic growth over recent months in the Manawatū region.

Infometrics GDP estimates suggest economic growth in the region was 1.8% in the year to December 2015, while New Zealand GDP is estimated to have increased by 2.4%.

Palmerston North GDP increased by 1.7% in the year to December 2015 while Manawatū District's GDP is estimated to have increased by 2.2%.  

Palmerston North City Council Chief Executive Paddy Clifford says the report shows the population continues to grow in the region.

"I'm impressed by the rate of growth which is the highest in more than two decades", he says.

There was an annual increase of 1,600 people in the year to June 2015 was the highest in the region since 1992.  More recent data suggests population growth in the year to June 2016 will be even higher than last year's increase.

There were an additional 120 babies born in the year to December 2015 compared with 2014.

The number of people leaving the region for Australia continues to decline while the number of people arriving from Australia has increased. This includes New Zealanders returning home and more Australian citizens arriving.

The rise in net migration has resulted in an increase in the number new houses being built in the region.  The value of consents has increased 27% in the year to December and by 69% in the December quarter.

"We know that growth in the construction industry has tremendous flow on effects for the local economy. It employs a lot of people from labourers to architects and also provides more work for timber merchants and other suppliers," says Mr Clifford.  

There are clear signs of employment growth resulting, with MSD job seeker benefit numbers in the region declining by 3% from December 2014.  

The Manawatū Region Quarterly Economic Monitor is produced by Infometrics for Palmerston North City Council and a copy of the full report can be found at

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