New Zealand's GDP shrinks 0.6 percent in fourth quarter of 2022, Stats NZ says

New Zealand's economy contracted by 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, Statistics NZ said on Thursday.

That's down from 1.7 percent growth in the September quarter.

Manufacturing, down 1.9 percent, was the largest contributor to the decline in economic growth. 

Another decline is forecast in the March quarter, which would place New Zealand in a technical recession.

"A fall in transport equipment, machinery, and equipment manufacturing corresponded to lower investment in plant, machinery and equipment; while reduced output in food, beverage and tobacco manufacturing was reflected in a drop in dairy and meat exports," Stats NZ's Ruvani Ratnayake said of the latest data.

New Zealand's foreign exports fell 2.2 percent in the December quarter, compared with 8 percent growth in September.

Other downward drivers included retail trade and accommodation, which was also down 1.9 percent.

"We would typically see higher activity in industries linked to tourism such as accommodation, retail and transport, in what is usually the beginning of New Zealand's peak tourist season," Ratnayake explained.

"While the last of the travel restrictions were lifted in August 2022, the number of overseas visitors in December 2022 quarter was still below pre-COVID levels.

"Other drivers of the 0.8 percent decrease in expenditure on GDP were investment, down 1.9 percent, and Government spending, down 2.4 percent," Stats NZ said.

The statistics agency noted New Zealand's economy expanded 2.4 percent over all of last year.