information released from Infometrics NZ’s Annual Economic Profile show Whanganui District has an increased rate of growth for GDP (or economic growth rate) of 2.2% for the year ended March 2016. Coming from a base of approximately zero growth in 2015 this is a significant accomplishment – especially when compared with the national rate of growth decrease of 0.9% for the same period. Simply put Whanganui has recorded economic growth at a fastest rate than the New Zealand average.
These numbers are backed up by the mean earning growth rate of 3.1% in 2015. This comes from a previous low in 2014 and now matches the annual mean earning growth rate for NZ. Income earned from employment reflects the positive environment and improved results and growth contribute to the average Whanganui’s household well-being and choices available from that income increase. Disposable income for many families can be much higher compared to many of the main cities in New Zealand.
These figures support Whanganui District’s Mayor Hamish Douall in his recent comments regarding the “Growing Beyond Growth” report published by the Maxim Institute. On his Facebook page and in a Local Focus video, Mr McDouall says “Growth in Whanganui, while currently slow is happening. New residents I’ve talked to love the Whanganui community and the lifestyle that comes with being here and wouldn’t return to living in major centres.”
Tourism activity is also in front of national results with a 5.78% growth rate in tourism GDP (the amount contributed to the Whanganui district GDP from tourism) for 2016. The national rate of tourism GDP growth is 3.1% in comparison. Agriculture, forestry and fishing GDP contribution showed 9.2% growth and manufacturing 11.7% growth. Construction and retail were also industry sectors with results ahead of the national growth rates.
Myles Fothergill, Managing Director of Q-West Boat Builders and Chair of Whanganui and Partners, the districts Economic Development agency, added this “The latest GDP figures released by Statistics NZ this week confirms the general feeling of confidence amongst the business community – Whanganui’s economy is growing.
Manufacturing has been identified as having the major impact for our region, with GDP growth of almost 12% over the past 12 months with primary sector growth at over 9%. This is particularly good news for us all, as we work towards taking our economy from good to great.”
As regional NZ looks at its future amongst the reports and forecasts Whanganui is definitely looking forward.