New Zealand economy posts surprise growth

Thursday, September 24, 2009

WELLINGTON -- New Zealand showed signs of emerging from recession on Wednesday but officials said growth was so slight it did not mark a definite turning point in the economy.

Statistics New Zealand said gross domestic product was up 0.1 percent in the three months to June following five quarters of contraction.

For the year to the end of June, the economy shrank 1.8 percent, compared with 2.5 percent growth in the year ending June 2008.

It marks the biggest annual decline in economic activity since the figures began in 1987.

However, the June quarter turnaround surprised many economists, with predictions of a 0.2 percent contraction.

Activity in the primary industries was up 1.5 percent in the June quarter, mainly driven by forestry and logging, which rose 8.0 percent on the back of increased exports to China.

Goods-producing industries contracted 0.5 percent with construction down 1.9 percent and manufacturing down 1.3 percent.

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