Treasurer Bill English today welcomed evidence that exports grew faster than imports in the September quarter.
"Exports grew by 10.5% in the September quarter from June. The evidence points towards a strong rebound in economic
growth in the September quarter.
"Today's overseas trade data showed the value of New Zealand's exports increased more rapidly than imports did in the
September quarter. This suggests that net exports made a positive contribution to GDP in September. Imports also
increased in the quarter but the trend is slowing. Excluding the import of aircraft in the quarter, imports rose around
4% from June. Including the aircraft, imports rose 9.0% on the quarter.
"Today's positive export data comes on top of other indicators of strong economic activity. Employment increased in
September and the unemployment rate fell. Retail spending recorded its strongest quarterly growth rate for over two
years. Business and consumer confidence has steadied at solid levels and firms reported increased economic activity in
"It is encouraging that the strength in exports was widespread across sectors in September. Dairy, fish, and wool
exports all recorded double digit growth in the quarter. Exports of wood, meat products and manufacturing goods were
also very strong.
"The annual trade deficit figure disguises the fact that exports are showing solid growth. Exports will strengthen
Treasury is picking exports will grow by 8% over the coming year. This is not surprising given the competitive exchange
rate, low interest rates, and the strengthening international economy," said Mr English.