Fewer businesses trading
The country had 472,600 businesses operating at February 2013, down 0.2 percent on 2012, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Business numbers reached their peak of almost 481,000 in 2009, but has declined every year for the past four years at 0.4 percent a year, on average.
In 2013, new business start-ups decreased by 5.2 percent from 2012, with closures exceeding start-ups for the fourth year in a row.
Businesses without employees (such as the self-employed) had a higher combined proportion of start-ups and closures at 24 percent.