New Zealand Economy

Articles > New Zealand Economy

New Zealand gained its independence from Britain way back in 1907. In the many decades following independence the country’s economy slowly grew and diversified. Its export market was open to other countries apart from the United Kingdom. Growth has been seen in many sectors – tourism, dairy, sheep, beef, poultry, fruit, wine and paper products – and, although New Zealand’s economy is developed, it is a small place in the global marketplace. New Zealand is now ranked as the 53rd largest national economy in the world (GDP) and the 68th largest measured by PPP.

Economic Freedom
New Zealand’s economy has gone from being one of the most regulated in the OECD to one which now encourages the practice of economic freedom. Its openness to global trade and investment are now firmly entrenched in the Kiwi’s psyche. The country’s financial system has remained stable and it has weathered most of the financial storms which have affected countries around the globe.

The New Zealand government has successfully kept public spending and debt under control. The country attracts entrepreneurs, who enjoy the transparent and stable business environment. In 2020 the World Bank again ranked New Zealand first in the world for the ease of doing business.

Trade is vital to New Zealand’s economy. The joint value of their imports and exports makes up 55% of their GDP. Foreign investment is encouraged, with the financial sector being well developed, offering entrepreneurs many options.

Projected Growth
ASB Bank expects the economy to grow by 2.6% in 2020. It’s worth quoting the following from Forbes, “Over the past 20 years the government has transformed New Zealand from an agrarian economy dependent on concessionary British market access, to a more industrialised, free market economy that can complete globally. This dynamic growth has boosted real incomes and broadened and deepened the technological capabilities of the industrial sector.”

Quick Facts

  • Currency:
    New Zealand dollar
  • GDP per capita:
    38,900 USD (2020)
  • Gross domestic product:
    204.67 billion USD
  • GDP growth rate:
    +2.51% (fourth quarter of 2019)
  • Gross national income:
    292.88 billion NZ dollars (2019)
  • GNI per capita:
    60,223 NZ dollars (2019)
  • Population:
    4,822,233 (estimate June 2020)
  • Internet users:
    89.1% of the population
  • Unemployment rate:
    4.3% (Third quarter 2019)
  • Interest rate:
  • Inflation rate:
    1.44% (Fourth quarter of 2019)