New Zealand’s economy expanded at its fastest annual rate in more than six years during the first quarter driven by a surge in construction, bolstering the case for another interest rate rise next month to curb growing price risks.
The economy grew a seasonally adjusted 3.8 percent in January-March from a year ago, Statistics New Zealand figures showed on Thursday, its best pace since the September 2007 quarter and slightly exceeding economists’ forecasts for a 3.7 percent rise.
Driving the NZ$226 billion ($195.7 billion) economy at the start of the year was a 12.5 percent pick-up in construction activity, the biggest quarter rise since March 2000.
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