Sunday, March 30, 2008

Growth higher than expected in NZ

New Zealand's economy grew by a greater-than-expected 1 percent in the December quarter, gross domestic product figures from Statistics New Zealand showed at the weekend.

The quarterly figure took the annual growth rate to 3.1 percent - the fastest in two and a half years and up from 2.7 percent in the previous quarter.

The New Zealand dollar jumped a quarter of a cent on the news to US80.48c, as analysts said they expected interest rates to stay high for longer.

Their expectation was bolstered by Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard, who said in a speech in Sydney on Friday that "monetary policy in New Zealand has been relatively tight for some time, and we think the current setting of 8.25 percent with a flat outlook remains appropriate".

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