New Zealand GDP up 3 percent in latest figures

New Zealand's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has rebounded in the December quarter, Statistics New Zealand has announced.

In a statement on Thursday, Stats NZ reported GDP - a measure of growth in national outputs - rose by 3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year after plummeting 3.7 percent in the third quarter.

The quarterly rise captured the start of COVID-19 restrictions being loosened in Auckland, which  reopened after months in lockdown in early December.

Over the December quarter, household consumption expenditure rose 5.2 percent and investment expenditure increased by 11.1 percent.

"Households spent more on goods and services, particularly on durable items such as clothing and footwear and electrical appliances," said Ruvani Ratnayake, Stats NZ's industry and production national accounts senior manager.

Goods producing industries rose by 6.5 percent, largely led by manufacturing and construction.

"Higher levels of activity were seen in most manufacturing sub-industries. There were notable rises in transport equipment, machinery, and equipment manufacturing; and metal product manufacturing, with higher exports of related products seen in the quarter," Ratnayake said.

Stats NZ noted household spending was 4.3 percent above the December 2019 quarter - the last data collected before the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded.

Annual average GDP, reflecting the four quarters to December last year compared to the four quarters to December 2020, rose 5.6 percent.