New Zealand’s economy is growing faster than most and has outstripped Australia’s, Finance Minister Bill English says.
Latest statistics show September-to-September gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 3.5 per cent compared with Australia’s 2.3 per cent.
Growth in the United States over the same period was 1.8 per cent, in Canada 1.9 per cent, in Britain 1.5 per cent and in Japan 2.4 per cent.
“Despite the worst drought for several decades earlier this year, New Zealand now has one of the faster growing developed economies in the world,” Mr English said on Thursday.
“And just yesterday ANZ confirmed business confidence is at its highest level since February 1999, with manufacturing confidence hitting a 15-year high.”
Third quarter economic expansion was faster than expected at 1.4 per cent as the dairy sector recovered from the drought.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing grew 14 per cent in the quarter, after dairy recovered from two quarters of contraction.
Dairy product manufacturing also helped drive a 1.5 per cent expansion in broader manufacturing activity.
The New Zealand dollar rose to 82.40 US cents from 82.21 cents immediately before the figures were released.
The local dollar jumped to a new five-year high of 93.04 Australian cents and was recently at 92.93 cents from 92.66 cents before the announcement.
The acceleration in economic activity comes as analysts grow more bullish about New Zealand’s prospects for growth, with the Reserve Bank signalling this month that it is ready to start hiking interest rates to keep on top of inflation as the recovery gains momentum.