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Accounting for Growth and Output Gaps: Evidence from New Zealand

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We evaluate New Zealand’s macroeconomic performance over the 1967–1996 period, which witnessed numerous economic reforms. Using both index–number and econometric techniques, we decompose nominal GDP growth and the output gap into contributions from price level changes, productivity growth and changes in factor utilisation. Changes in domestic prices accounted for four–fifths of the growth in nominal GDP, while capital accumulation and employment growth were the most important factors determining real–output growth. Deviations in the domestic price level around its long–run trend contributed most heavily to changes in the nominal output gap. The real gap was influenced in any year variously by deviations of the terms of trade and labour input from their long–run trends, as well as by productivity shocks.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 2: Swiss National Bank, Zurich, Switzerland, 3: University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2002

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