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Improved Economic Performance

Page updated 13 Jun 2014

Improved economic performance is one of the Treasury's three outcomes. Through our work in this area we aim to grow the economy and increase living standards for New Zealanders.

The Treasury's other outcomes are A Stable and Sustainable Macroeconomic Environment and A Higher Performing State Sector.

New Zealand's average GDP per capita growth for the last six decades has been poorer than all other OECD countries. In order to maintain New Zealand’s living standards we need to materially narrow the income gap between New Zealand and the most advanced economies. For a country of New Zealand’s size, much of this growth will need to be driven by strong export performance as reflected in tradable sector growth

Our Role

The Treasury has the unique ability to provide an overall perspective on economic growth by incorporating analysis of institutions, macroeconomics, microeconomics, and the economy as a system, complemented by the contribution of other government agencies. Such ongoing monitoring of the economy's performance helps the Treasury fill one of its primary roles - to advise the Government on significant economy-wide issues that matter most for New Zealand's economic performance.

To find out more about the Treasury's objectives and priorities concerning improved economic performance please refer to our latest Statement of Intent.

For an overview of recent work done by the Treasury on improved economic performance, see the Our Outcome Performance section of our latest Annual Report.

To read Productivity Symposium 2013 opening remarks, see Secretary to the Treasury Gabriel Makhlouf's speech. See also The Productivity Hub, and Treasury productivity papers.

How Are We Doing?

The following are useful sources of information on New Zealand's current economic growth:

Economic and Fiscal Updates

At least twice a year, the Treasury produces economic forecasts in its Economic and Fiscal Updates. Information provided in each Update includes forecast movements in gross domestic product (GDP), consumer prices, unemployment and employment, and the current account position of the balance of payments.

Tax Outturn Data

Tax Outturn Data are tables of monthly tax revenue and receipts (see the Glossary of Tax Terms to understand the difference). Tax outturns are among the earliest data available about the state of the economy.

Economic Indicators

Monthly Economic Indicators (MEI) are a regular stock-take of economic data releases prepared by the Treasury. The MEI comprises a commentary on the major data releases over the previous month and an annex with more detailed charts and source data.

Economic Development Indicators 2011

Economic Development Indicators 2011 is a joint Ministry of Economic Development (MED), Treasury and Statistics New Zealand report providing a comprehensive and objective description of New Zealand's recent economic performance compared to other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Economic Overview

The New Zealand Economic and Financial Overview 2012 publication produced by the New Zealand Debt Management Office in the Treasury contains a comprehensive overview of the structure and performance of the New Zealand economy. The chapter titled Economy is a useful summary, updated annually.

Economic Statistics

Statistics New Zealand publishes a wide range of statistics on the New Zealand economy, including:

  • The unemployment rate
  • Quarterly GDP
  • Productivity
  • Consumer Price Index (inflation)

In addition, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand publishes statistics on a range of financial indicators.


Treasury Working Papers and Policy Perspectives Papers are commissioned as part of our core function in developing and providing advice to the Minister of Finance, and are available on this website. Many of these papers cover issues related to economic growth.


The Treasury's senior management, including the Chief Executive, regularly attend speaking engagements where they present on topics related to the Treasury's work programme, including economic growth. Notes from these engagements can be found in the Speeches section of this website.

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