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Media advisory – 25 March 2011

Impact of Christchurch earthquake on GDP calculations

Statistics New Zealand is aware there have been some questions raised about gross domestic product (GDP)-related information following the 22 February Christchurch earthquake.

We want to reassure people that no data used in calculating GDP was lost and that Statistics New Zealand has full confidence in the information released on 24 March.

In the commentary to Gross Domestic Product: December 2010 quarter, we said “processed data for the December 2010 quarter Wholesale Trade Survey (WTS) and Economic Survey of Manufacturing (QMS) could not be recovered”.

To clarify this statement, no questionnaire or raw data was lost – but we had to process it in a different way from usual to include it in our GDP release. We are confident this was done to the highest standards and our methods were extensively reviewed.

In the GDP release, we also noted that that “the estimates for manufacturing and wholesale trade for the December 2010 quarter should be considered provisional”.

This means that we will reprocess the December 2010 quarter data in our standard way and release it in the March 2011 quarter GDP results.

Because the same raw information will be used for the December 2010 quarter, we do not expect any revision to be significant.

The two surveys for the December quarters for the Economic Survey of Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade Survey – that are usually released before GDP – will now be released next week on 1 April.

Colin Lynch
Deputy Government Statistician
Macro-Economic and Environment Statistics  

25 March 2011
END

For media enquiries contact:
Colin Marshall, Senior Media Advisor, Strategic Communications
04 931 4630 or 021 285 9191
communication@stats.govt.nz
www.stats.govt.nz/media

Statistics New Zealand Media Centre

Visit our  Media Centre where you will find a list of all our releases and other relevant statistical information to assist you. We welcome feedback on this page. Email communication@stats.govt.nz

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