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National Accounts (Income and Expenditure): Year ended March 2017
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  24 November 2017
Key facts

National accounts (income and expenditure) provides information on domestic production and the resulting income that is available for spending and saving.

This graph shows annual percent change in current prices of gross domestic product and gross domestic product per capita from 2003 to 2017


Provisional estimates for the year ended March 2017.

  • New Zealand’s gross domestic product was $270.6 billion – up 6.2 percent from 2016.
  • National saving continued to increase – up 20.8 percent to $19.8 billion.
  • Net national disposable income was up $14.0 billion, while final consumption expenditure increased $10.6 billion, leading to a $3.4 billion increase in national saving – to $19.8 billion.
  • Household spending was up 5.9 percent, with increases across all categories; household disposable income was up 4.4 percent.
  • Household saving remained negative at $4.1 billion – down $2.3 billion from 2016.
  • General government saving was up $3.2 billion – to $8.1 billion.
  • Investment in residential building increased 16 percent from the 2016 value, the fifth year in a row with a double-digit annual percentage increase.

These accounts are measured in current prices, which means they measure nominal changes in macroeconomic aggregates before accounting for price inflation.

Gross national disposable income

Gross national disposable income increased $16.2 billion in 2017 to $261.7 billion. The main contributors were:

  • a $5.1 billion increase in compensation of employees
  • an $8.7 billion increase in gross operating surplus and gross mixed income.

Gross national disposable income represents income from domestic production, net of investment income, compensation of employees, and current transfers paid to the rest of the world.

Expenditure measure of GDP

Expenditure on GDP in the March 2017 year increased to $269.3 billion, up from $254.7 billion in 2016. The most significant contributors were:

  • an $8.5 billion increase in household consumption expenditure(to $152.1 billion).
  • a $4.8 billion increase in investment (to $63.7 billion).
  • a $1.6 billion increase in central government consumption expenditure (to $43.1 billion). 


Note: an increase in imports has a negative impact on GDP expenditure.

Investment in fixed assets

Investment in fixed assets continued to increase through 2017.

  • Residential building drove the overall change in investment, passing $20 billion in 2017 (up 16 percent –  the fifth year in a row of double-digit percentage increases).
  • Non-residential building also rose considerably, up 14 percent in 2017 – it overtook other construction (infrastructure investment) to be the third-largest investment category.
  • Other construction fell to $6.7 billion from its $7.1 billion peak in 2014.
  • Plant, machinery, and equipment investment was flat in 2017, following a 12 percent increase in 2016.
  • Investment in intangible assets (computer software, research and development, and mineral and other exploration) was up to a combined $9.5 billion in 2017.
  • With a 9 percent increase in 2017, intangible asset investment has increased uninterrupted for 25 years. 

National saving

National saving is the balance on gross national disposable income after final consumption expenditure.

  • National saving increased $3.4 billion (20.8 percent) to $19.8 billion.
  • National saving as a proportion of gross national disposable income was 8.8 percent, up from 7.8 percent in 2016.
  • Government saving increased $3.2 billion to $8.1 billion.
  • Household saving declined from negative $1.8 billion to negative $4.1 billion.
  • Saving for the business sector rose from $13.2 billion to $15.8 billion.

This graph shows national saving and sector contibutions to national saving.

Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician 
ISSN 2537-8023
24 November 2017

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