The economy of New Zealand is
prosperous, modern, and developed with an estimated
Gross Domestic Product of NZ$115.624 billion in
The standard of living in the country is
relatively high with an approximated GDP per capita
of NZ$27,017 in 2008, similar to that of Southern
New Zealand has made considerable gains in
middle class household incomes since 2000.
Along with Australia, New Zealand mostly escaped the
recession of the beginning of the 21st century which
affected a large number of other countries in the
West. Nevertheless, the GDP of 2008 dropped in all 4
The people of New Zealander have a life satisfaction level
which is high as tallied by international surveys. This is
in spite of lower GDP per-capita levels in New Zealand as
compared to several other OECD countries. New Zealand ranked
20th on the Human Development Index of 2008 and 15th in the
2005 The Economist's worldwide quality-of-life index.
New Zealand ranked 1st in the Legatum Institute
prosperity index of 2007 in the category of life
satisfaction and 5th in overall prosperity.
Additionally, the Mercer Quality of Living Survey of
2009 ranked as Auckland City 4th place and
Wellington City 12th place in the world on its
New Zealand depends heavily on free trade,
specifically in products from agriculture. Its
exports account for approximately a quarter of its
total output, which is actually a high figure since
the export output for smaller countries in Europe is
approximately fifty percent.
This fact makes the
country especially vulnerable to global prices of
commodity and internal economic slowdowns.
New Zealand’s principal industries of export are
agriculture, fishing, horticulture, and forestry. These
industries make up approximately half of the export of the
country. New Zealand’s major partners for export are
Australia (20.5%), the U.S. (13.1%), Japan (10.3%), China
(5.4%), and the U.K. (4.9%).
Tourism plays a major part in the economy of New
Zealand. Tourism in New Zealand adds over 12 billion
New Zealand dollars or about 8.9 percent to the
country’s total GDP and subsidizes about 200,000
full-time industry related jobs which makes up about
9.9% of New Zealand’s total workforce. Visits of
tourists to New Zealand are projected to increase at
an amount of 4% yearly up to the year 2013.
An international magazine, “The Economist” in 2009
foresees the New Zealand government’s fiscal
situation to remain weak because of its tenuous
growth in revenue and the country’s increasing
The debt of the Government is expected to swell from 25% in
2008 to 40% in 2013. Gross Domestic Product growth in 2009
will shrink by 2.6%, then in 2010-2013 average 2.2%, even
though there may be consequential risks which may deter this
Foreign trade will be continued to be pursued by the
Government. In 2009, the country’s inflation will be 1.4
percent, in 2010 1.3 percent, and from 2011-2013 will
average 2.3 percent. The NZ dollar is projected to weaken
against the U.S. dollar through 2010, but in 2011 will
commence strengthening again (but this report observes that
exchange rates are unstable and difficult to predict).