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Latest business numbers show mixed picture
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  31 October 2011

New Zealand Business Demography Statistics: At February 2011  –  Media Release

There were just over 470,000 businesses in New Zealand at February 2011, Statistics New Zealand said today with the release of provisional business demography data. This is a decrease of 0.6 percent from February 2010. While this is the second consecutive annual decrease in the number of businesses recorded, it is smaller than the 1.5 percent decrease between February 2009 and 2010.

"The small change in the total number of businesses between February 2010 and 2011 reflects a period of mixed economic activity and uncertainty, in New Zealand and the wider business environment. Business start-ups and business closures were both down," business infrastructure and performance manager Hamish Hill said.

New business start-ups were down 9.1 percent, and business closures were down 7.9 percent. Overall, 4 in 5 business start-ups survive their first year in operation, a figure which has remained stable over time.

Larger businesses with 100 or more employees recorded an increase in paid employees of 1.8 percent, while decreases were recorded for businesses with one to five employees (down 1.6 percent) and those with six to nine employees (down 1.2 percent). Survival rates for larger businesses were also higher.

Auckland was the only region to record an increase in the number of business locations (geographic units), a marginal 0.5 percent.

These statistics relate to the reference period of February 2011. As such, no impacts from the Christchurch earthquake on 22 February will be evident in the results.

Cathryn Ashley-Jones
Acting Government Statistician
31 October 2011

End

For media enquiries contact: 
Hamish Hill 
Wellington (04) 931 4607 
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

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