Wed, 06 Jul 2022

WELLINGTON, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's household net worth grew by 60.7 billion NZ dollars (40.67 billion U.S. dollars) in the September 2021 quarter compared with the June 2021 quarter, the country's statistics department Stats NZ said Tuesday.

This represents an increase of 2.5 percent, a similar result to the June 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said.

"While household net worth continues to grow, the pace has slowed since the March 2021 quarter, which recorded an increase of 207 billion NZ dollars or 9.6 percent," said Paul Pascoe, national accounts institutional sector insights senior manager.

Net worth is the value of all assets owned by households less the value of all their liabilities.

The growth in net worth for the September 2021 quarter was driven by increases in both non-financial assets and financial assets, Pascoe said, adding that non-financial assets grew 27.7 billion NZ dollars, or 2.3 percent, due to increased property values.

Other financial assets to record growth in the quarter were currency and deposits, up 3.6 billion NZ dollars, and insurance, pension, and standardized guarantee schemes, up 3.2 billion NZ dollars. The latter is the result of increasing household pension balances, he said.

Financial liabilities of households, which include housing loans, consumer loans, and student loans, rose by 4.7 billion NZ dollars in the September 2021 quarter. Housing loans were the main driver of the increase, he added.

While overall loan liabilities were up 1.8 percent for the quarter, this follows increases of 2.3 percent and 2.7 percent for the March and June 2021 quarters respectively, Pascoe said.

Meanwhile, household saving increases following nationwide lockdown in the third quarter last year, Stats NZ said.

New Zealand households saved over 3.8 billion NZ dollars that quarter, driven by a 6.3 percent drop in household spending. This fall in household spending reflects the impact of higher COVID-19 alert level restrictions in place during the September 2021 quarter, it said.

"In quarters where New Zealand has been in alert level four lockdown, we have seen large falls in household spending, as parts of the economy have been unable to operate as usual," Pascoe said.

Spending dropped particularly on services and durable items, including restaurant meals, accommodation, clothing, motor vehicles, and furniture during the September 2021 quarter, he said. (1 NZ dollar equals 0.67 U.S. dollar)

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