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Growth stronger than expected - Cullen

Growth stronger than expected - Cullen

“The latest quarterly gross domestic product results are at the top end of market expectations and point to the continuing resilience of the New Zealand economy,” Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

Growth for the March quarter was 2.3 per cent; the highest result achieved in 18 quarters. Growth for the March year was 3.6 per cent.

“This continues a strong run. In the five years from the March quarter 1999 to this year, New Zealand has achieved growth of 21.7 per cent. Population growth over the same period was just 5.6 per cent.

“What these figures show is that living standards for New Zealanders have increased,” Dr Cullen said.

He said the data showed that growth over the quarter was broad-based: household spending was up 2.9 per cent and exports were up 3.4 per cent.

“Particularly encouraging is that business investment rose 4.1 per cent taking the increase for the March year to 12.6 per cent.

“Obviously it is too early to be dogmatic, but the evidence suggests that the economy is continuing to outperform official forecasts,” Dr Cullen said.

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