As the election campaign for 2014 heats up, citizens can expect a deluge of dis-information, distortions, and lies from the enemies of the progressive Left. Their constant repetition will be that Labour left the economy is a shocking state in 2008, with the most pernicious outright lie that the Clark-Cullen government left New Zealand with a “decade of deficits”.
None of it is true. It is part of a meme-construction by the Right, with zealous followers who are willing and able to spread their mis-information on the internet.
Spreading lies is easy.
Discovering the truth is that much harder – you need to know where to look.
This series of reports will hopefully make things easier for those who want a clearer picture of events over the last two or three decades.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana
Most graphed information is taken from Trading Economics, a US-based, on-line, economics-information website.
Trading Economics provides its users with accurate information for 196 countries including historical data for more than 300.000 economic indicators, exchange rates, stock market indexes, government bond yields and commodity prices. Our data is based on official sources, not third party data providers, and our facts are regularly checked for inconsistencies. TradingEconomics.com has received more than 100 million page views from more than 200 countries.
In turn, the site uses information from Statistics New Zealand, the World Bank, NZ Treasury, etc.
The reader can set dates for specific time-parameters (indicated with red arrows) to search the site’s data-banks by years. It is extremely user-friendly and informative.
Other sources for data will be clearly referenced.
National governance is marked with a blue line.
Labour governance is marked with a red line.
- New Zealand GDP
“The gross domestic product (GDP) measures of national income and output for a given country’s economy. The gross domestic product (GDP) is equal to the total expenditures for all final goods and services produced within the country in a stipulated period of time.”
In the 1990s, under National and Ruth Richardson’s (1990-1993) economic stewardship, GDP dropped from $43.9 to $40.3 billion and unemployment skyrocketed to 11.2%. For much of the 1990s, GDP see-sawed up and down, peaking at $67.9 billion in 1997 before falling away again.
Note: National implemented two tax cuts, in 1 July 1996 and 1 July 1998. Neither seemed to help grow GDP, and many public services were cut back in the late 1990s.
For Labour, except for a dip in 2001, GDP rose every year from 2002 to 2008. The rise in percentage terms is outlined below.
From 2009 to 2013, despite the GFC, GDP increased from $117.8 to $169.6 billion, though the rise in percentage terms, outlined below, was not so encouraging. GDP growth, per capita, was also lack-lustre, as demonstrated below.
- New Zealand GDP per capita
“The GDP per capita is obtained by dividing the country’s gross domestic product, adjusted by inflation, by the total population.”
Except for two recessionary periods (early 1990s and 2007/08 Global Financial Crisis and recession), New Zealand’s GDP, per head of capita, has grown every year, until the GFC/recession, when it dropped from$28,168.1 per capita in 2008 to $27,383.8 in 2009.
Curiously, the 2009 and 2010 tax cuts did not seem to contribute greatly to per capita GDP.
- New Zealand Real GDP
Real Gross Domestic Product (real GDP) is a macroeconomic measure of the value of economic output adjusted for price changes (i.e., inflation or deflation). This adjustment transforms the money-value measure, nominal GDP, into an index for quantity of total output. GDP is the sum of consumer Spending, Investment made by industry, Excess of Exports over Imports and Government Spending. Due to inflation GDP increases and does not actually reflects the true growth in economy. That is why inflation rate must be subtracted from the GDP to get the real growth percentage called the real GDP.
- Main Stats
- Average GDP, 1990 to 1999: 2.4%
- Average GDP, 2000 to 2008: 3.5%
- Average GDP, 2009 to 2013*: 1.2%
* 2013 figure averaged over three Quarters only.
(Calcution based on RBNZ raw data spread sheet)
- Impactors on GDP growth
- Recession, 1987/91
- Ruth Richardson’s “Mother of all Budgets” in 1991, which deepened the recession,
- Recession, 1997/98
- GFC/recession, from 2007/08 onward.
- Whilst GDP figures “bounce” around, Labour’s stewardship of the economy between 2000 and late 2008 has been more consistant in GDP growth and with less extremes shown in the 1990s and post-2008.
- GDP dipped into negative growth in the early 1990s and post-2008
- GDP remained in positive growth between 2000 to 2008
- Allegations that the economy did not perform well under Labour are clearly wrong, and the evidence does not sustain those claims.
Trading Economics: About Us
Trading Economics: New Zealand GDP
Trading Economics: New Zealand GDP per capita
Wikipedia: Real Gross Domestic Product (definition)
Reserve Bank of NZ: Real GDP
Reserve Bank of NZ: Real GDP Raw Data spreadsheet
NZ Treasury: Recent Economic Performance and Outlook
Te Ara: The ‘mother of all budgets’
Ministry of Business, Innovation, & Employment/Dept of Labour: How bad is the Current Recession? Labour Market Downturns since the 1960s
Colin James: Ruth amid the alien corn
Previous related blogposts
There, fixed it.
= fs =