WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s economy rebounded in the second quarter after six months of lacklustre progress, an indication that growth may be regaining momentum as the nation prepares to go to the polls tomorrow in a tightly fought general election. Gross domestic product expanded 0.8 per cent in the second quarter from the previous three months, compared with a revised 0.6 per cent gain in the January-March period, with strength in exports and domestic demand supporting growth.
Economists had expected the economy to grow by 0.75 per cent, while the central bank had forecast an expansion of 0.9 per cent. On a year-over-year basis, the growth was flat, with the economy expanding 2.5 per cent in the second quarter compared with 2.5 per cent in the first three months of the year. Average annual growth to the end of the first quarter slowed to 2.7 per cent from a revised 2.9 per cent for the 12 months through March. “Demand for exports has resulted in strong production growth in manufacturing and service industries,” said Gary Dunnet, accounts senior manager at the statistics body. Prime Minister Bill English, has campaigned on his party’s nine-year stewardship of the economy.