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|WELLINGTON Brian Elliott Jersey Sale , March 19 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's economy grew by 3.3 percent last year, the highest annual increase since 2007, the government statistics agency announced Thursday.
The retail and accommodation sectors led a growth rate of 0.8 percent in the last three months of 2014, but it was the combination with real estate services and manufacturing that drove the annual growth, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Retail and accommodation rose by 2.3 percent in the December quarter, buoyed by a 15-percent increase in international tourist spending Brandon Manning Jersey Sale , while household spending was up 0.6 percent.
"This is the largest growth we've seen in retail and accommodation since the 2011 Rugby World Cup," national accounts manager Gary Dunnet said in a statement.
"While some of this growth comes from more spending by New Zealanders, overseas visitors had a bigger impact. Spending by Chinese, U.S., and UK visitors all increased in 2014, though Australians spent less."
The size of the economy was 238 billion NZ dollars (178.19 billion U.S. dollars) for the year ended December 2014.
Finance Minister Bill English said the figures showed New Zealand's economic growth had proved to be consistent and sustainable.
"Where this growth really makes a difference to New Zealanders and their families is in their household budgets. They are earning more Scott Laughton Jersey Sale , saving more and borrowing less," English said in a statement.
"In 2014, we saw 80,000 new jobs created, a record high participation rate in the labor force of 69.7 percent, and average weekly wages growing at 2.5 percent compared with inflation of 0.8 percent."
However Sean Couturier Jersey Sale , he warned there were many risks and consistent growth should not be taken for granted.
"The effects of drought and lower dairy prices are likely to have an impact this year, and international risks -- including declining growth prospects for some of our main trading partners -- are ever-present."
The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) argued the top 1 percent of income earners were benefiting disproportionately from the economic growth and cited figures from the Inland Revenue showing worsening inequality.
More of the income generated by the economy was also going to profits of overseas companies, leading to a fall in the resources available to people living in New Zealand, CTU economist Bill Rosenberg said in a statement.
An economic note from the ASB Bank warned that growth over the first half of this year would likely slow, dragged by the decline in milk production due to lower prices and dry weather conditions, although it expected domestic demand to remain robust over 2015.
XINING Travis Konecny Jersey Sale , Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- The King Gesar, a millennium-old Tibetan epic poem, is to have its own protection zone on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, the local government said Monday.
The protection zone covers the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Golog, northwest China's Qinghai Province, famous for natural and cultural relics related to the epic.
According to Doje Gyaincog Ivan Provorov Jersey Sale , head of the prefecture's cultural and sports bureau, with the support of the Culture Ministry, the prefecture will first carry out a thorough survey of storytellers.
The government has plans to grant stable salaries to the storytellers so they no longer need to worry about making a living, but can instead focus on their art.
In addition, natural and cultural relics such as Ayude, birthplace of King Gesar Valtteri Filppula Womens Jersey , will be protected and the government will collect libretti, audio and video clips and pictures.
"We have also plans to invite artists to work the epic into symphonies, musicals and dramas to spread the Gesar legend to a larger audience, especially young people," said Doje Gyaincog.
King Gesar, with more than 120 volumes and at least 1 million lines Jordan Weal Womens Jersey , tells how the half-human, half-god Tibetan king of the 11th Century conquered the devils of other tribes and sought to help ordinary people.
The epic has been recited for generations by what locals call "god-taught storytellers" who are often illiterate and know none of the poem, but begin to tell the stories after experiencing strange dreams.
"The epic is so popular among Tibetans that almost everyone has heard the king's stories or watched performances since they were kids. It's a part of our childhood," said Living Buddha Tsedri from the prefecture's Kere Monastery, who is a trakhan (a Gesar storyteller in Tibetan).
As modernization permeates the plateau, the pool of trakhan is shrinking Brian Elliott Womens Jersey , and many of the relics are poorly cared for. Many storytellers, mainly herdsmen or farmers, are nomadic and only a few go on to become respected artists.
"There are some 160 storytellers in Golog. Some of them are very old and their health is poor. Once they are gone, we will have lost the heart of the epic," said Tsedri.
King Gesar was listed as national intangible cultural heritage in 2006 and listed as World Intangible Cultural Heritage items by UNESCO in 2009.
MOGADISHU， Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Somalia took a step closer to electing a new president Sunday after completing the election of the Senate Speaker and two deputies.
Abdi Hashi Abdullahi， an outspoken veteran politician from the break-away region of Somaliland， emerged as winner of the Senate Speaker election， which took place about a week after the Lower House picked its speakers.
Abdullahi beat his rival Mustaf Mohamed Qodah with 43 to 8 votes. Qodah conceded the defeat and congratulated the winner.
The two are both from Somaliland in line with the clan power sharing arrangements in the country's political order.
Abdullahi， who also served as minister for health， arts and culture during the transitional government between 2005 and 2008， will join hands with the Lower House Speaker Mohamed Osman Jawari to draft a timetable for the presidential election.
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