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This is the essential, top-level measure of how our economy is performing.
What is being measured is the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on a 'real' or inflation-adjusted basis.
The statisticans at Statistics NZ measure this in two separate ways, each slightly different:
1. the Expenditure-based series is a measure of total final purchases in the economy and includes stock-building.
2. the Production-based series is a measure of the total value-added in the economy.
Our chart series is based on the Expenditure-base, mainly because most of the international comparatives use this basis. We use what the the RBNZ extracts, except for the per capita set which is the annualised Statistics NZ set.
The "real index" is the real GDP (expenditure basis) set to a base of 1000 at Q1-2000, for the full year of the prior four quarters, year-on-year.
Not everyone thinks GDP is all it is cracked up to be as a way to compare economies. In fact, the OECD has a 'Better Life Index' where you can set your own weightings for 11 key topics and then compare the member economies represented by the OECD. You can find that here>>