New Zealand's gross domestic product expanded 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the previous three months, Statistics NZ said on Thursday.
That beat forecasts for an increase of 0.4 percent following the downwardly revised 1.0 percent expansion in the first quarter (originally 1.1 percent).
By category, agriculture was up 4.7 percent, with continued good growing conditions resulting in increased milk production. Construction added 3.3 percent, due to increases in heavy and civil (infrastructure) and residential building construction. Transport, postal, and warehousing gained 2.7 percent, and manufacturing was up 0.8 percent, due mainly to an increase in transport equipment manufacturing.
"The good pasture conditions in the first half of the year continued to contribute to economic growth this quarter," national accounts manager Rachael Milicich said. "We are also now seeing evidence of a rebuild in Canterbury following the earthquakes."
On a yearly basis, GDP jumped 2.6 percent, also beating estimates for an increase of 2.4 percent, which would have been unchanged from the previous three months.
The expenditure measure of GDP was up 0.3 percent in the second quarter.
Investment in fixed assets was up 3.1 percent, due to increases in plant, machinery, and equipment, heavy and civil construction, and residential building, the bureau said. The volume of spending by New Zealand households increased 0.2 percent.
The size of the economy was $NZ205 billion for the year ended June 2012.
Upon the release of the data, the New Zealand dollar spiked against major trading partners, moving near 0.8290 against the U.S. dollar, 1.2639 versus the Australian dollar, 65.02 against the yen and 1.5740 versus the euro.
by RTT Staff Writer
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