Fieldays spending shows 'strong rural economy'

01 November 2017

Spending at last year's National Agricultural Fieldays broke the half-billion dollar barrier for the first time, generating $538 million in sales revenue for New Zealand firms.

Spending was up by $108 million on 2016, the Fieldays 2017 Economic Impact Report released this month has shown.

Prepared by independent economist Dr Warren Hughes and Professor Frank Scrimgeour of the University of Waikato Management School's Institute of Business Research, the report highlighted a significant increase in Fieldays' contribution to the New Zealand economy.

New Zealand National Fieldays Society chief executive, Peter Nation says the organisation is proud of the contribution Fieldays makes to both the Waikato region and New Zealand economies.

“This report shows record highs for the event and we're really proud of what we've achieved, both from an organisational point of view and what that means for New Zealand.

“We're constantly looking for ways to improve in an ever changing market and these findings are just going to drive us to deliver better results,” said Peter.

Fieldays' brand value has increased from $380 million in 2016 to $465 million in 2017, signalling the Fieldays platform is increasing in value for manufacturers selling to primary producers.

It was also identified that Fieldays broke the half-billion dollar barrier for the first time, generating $538 million in sales revenue for New Zealand firms.

Up by $108 million on 2016, this significant increase in spending is a good indication that New Zealand's economic growth is in a strong position compared with recent years.

Dr Warren Hughes commented that the 2016 figures reflect the effects of two years of low dairy payouts, while 2017 is showing renewed confidence and increased expenditure in the dairy sector.

ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie commented on a strong rural community showing strength across the board.

“It's going to be a big economic tailwind for New Zealand over the next two to three years,” said Cameron.

This is evident in the creation of more than 2300 full-time equivalent jobs in 2017, up from 2021 in 2016. Of those, 900 were created in Waikato alone, a 27 percent increase on the previous year.

These jobs have been sustained either side of the four day event, including site preparations, freight and hospitality, with the report showing that for every dollar spent during the event another $1.37 of sales revenue is generated somewhere else in the New Zealand economy.

Peter says the organisation is pleased to see Fieldays create so many full time jobs.

“We are crucially aware that many businesses and families rely heavily on Fieldays as a large part of their annual livelihood.

“The spin-off to the food and beverage, accommodation and service industry, particularly in Waikato is great. As Fieldays grows so do the service industries that supply our exhibitors and their businesses,” says Peter.

Overall the Fieldays event has generated $238 million to New Zealand's GDP, an increase of 24.7 percent over the 2016 year which was, of course, a low spending year for the primary sectors.

- Waikato Business News

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