A boost in tourist spending lifted economic growth in New Zealand during the fourth quarter, a sign that a buoyant economy with limited inflation pressures will keep pressure off the central bank to move on interest rates.
The economy grew a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent in the quarter, according to Statistics New Zealand, a touch more than economists’ forecast of 0.7 percent, as the retail trade and accommodation sector received a strong boost from overseas visitors.
The annual growth rate rose to 3.5 percent, the highest since the September 2007 quarter. Economists had expected 3.3 percent. The data was in line with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s (RBNZ) forecast and consistent with the growth trend seen by many economists.