Achieving a record of sorts, government data revealed that Otago’s percentage increase in nominal gross domestic product (GDP) was the highest of all the regions.
According to Statistics NZ, provisional figures showed Otago’s economy, which includes Queenstown, rose 8.6% over the year to March 2018. This was followed by Waikato (7.5%) and Tasman/Nelson (7.3%), with the national average increasing by 5.5%.
Read more: Government boosts first-home grants for Queenstown district
GDP per capita measures total economic output divided by the number of people. The Wellington region had the top spot for GDP per capita in 2018, ahead of Taranaki, which was number one between 2007 and 2015.
“Otago’s increase was underpinned by strong contributions from its two largest industries – rental, hiring, and real estate services, as well as construction,” said Gary Dunnet, national accounts senior manager at Statistics NZ.
“Agriculture was also a big factor in Otago’s 2018 increase, reflecting more milk and lambs produced in the region and higher commodity prices.
Large rises in housing-related industries were seen over the last three to four years in several other regions besides Otago. These include Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, and Tasman/Nelson.
“In contrast, construction in Canterbury continued to taper off over 2017 and 2018, with the region’s overall increase of 4.6 percent falling below the national average,” said Dunnet.