After many years of "exceptional increases" Auckland's growth is slowing but Auckland Council chief economist David Norman says it's all relative.

Real GDP growth is still healthy, construction is surging as the city builds thousands of new homes and retail trade growth remains well above inflation, according to the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development growth monitor and index for 2018.

The growth monitor, now in its second edition, provided a snapshot of the region's economy and its place on the world stage.

"Although growth is slowing in Auckland after many years, this is all relative. Real GDP growth is still well over 2 per cent a year," Norman says in the report.


"Recent years have seen enviable growth in population and Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as the rest of the world and returning Kiwis have come to appreciate what Auckland has to offer and have made the city their home."

Population may hit 2,500,00 by 2043

Auckland is home to more than 1.65 million people, accounting for more than a third of New Zealand's population.

Between June 2016 and June 2017, the city added 43,000 additional people – the population of Upper Hutt.

"Between 2012 and 2017, Auckland added 180,000 new residents, with growth averaging 2.3 per cent per annum during this period."

Auckland's population could reach 2 million by as early as 2029 and hit 2.5 million by 2043, According to Statistics New Zealand medium projections.

"While this growing population supports demand for goods and services, and provides additional labour force capacity to enable growth, it will also place increasing pressure on housing, transport, infrastructure and public service."

The ethnically diverse city


Auckland, ranked fourth most diverse city in the world by International Organisation for Migration in 2015, is home to more than 220 ethnicities, with 39 per cent of Auckland's residents born overseas.

New Zealand's medium population projections show the Pacific population growing to over 360,000 within the next 20 years, accounting for 16.5 per cent of Auckland's
population by 2038, according to Statistics New Zealand.

"With forecast ongoing inward migration, Auckland is set to become even more diverse."

The Asian population, in particular, was projected to grow more than 3 per cent per annum over the next 20 years and would make up 35.5 per cent of Auckland's population by 2038."

Almost one third, 29 per cent, of Aucklanders can speak two or more languages.

Auckland is New Zealand's largest and most consistent source of job growth

Around 190,200 jobs were added in the past five years.

"Reflecting a growth rate of 26 per cent and contributing 45 per cent of national employment growth. During the same period, Auckland's unemployment rate has declined from 6.9 per cent to 4.5 per cent."

The trends showed a positive "demand for labour and increasing uptake of employment from within the local labour market".

"These figures continue to reflect strong labour market performance and a growing talent and labour pool within Auckland's diverse labour market."

The labour force was strong, increasing from 842,000 to 914,000 in two years with unemployment dropping from 41,500 to 20,200.

Auckland's economy accounted for 38 per cent of New Zealand's economic output

Growth in Auckland's economy has boosted confidence and "stimulated investment", Norman said.

For the year ended March 2018, Auckland's real GDP was estimated to be $91.9 billion, a 2.2 per cent increase since March 2017.

"This has been primarily driven by above average population growth, a strong construction pipeline and a booming visitor economy.

"This has somewhat masked real growth in the economy, however, with GDP per capita growth in Auckland lagging at around 1 per cent in recent years, indicating a lack of growth in productivity."

Key Auckland Statistics

Population: 1,650,000 as at June 2017. 43,000 thousand new residents for the year ended June 2017.

Ethnicities: More than 220 according to 2013 census.

Employed Persons: 914,000 for the year ended March 2018. 29,800 additional members joined the labour force in the past 12 months.

Unemployment: 4.5 per cent, one of the lowest levels in the past decade.

Business: 192,000 registered businesses and a net annual increase of 8000 new businesses.

Economic Output: Auckland's Real GDP is 38 per cent of the national output, totalling just under $92 billion. Construction and tourism sectors are major growth contributors with 13.9 per cent and 7.6 per cent growth over the past 12 months.