World Economy

NZ Growth Slows

NZ Growth SlowsNZ Growth Slows

Economists are expecting New Zealand’s economic data due later this week will reflect weaker growth driven primarily by a decline in dairy production. A Thomson Reuters news agency poll has economists picking GDP to have expanded by 0.6 percent in the March quarter, compared with 0.8 in the previous quarter, or a rise of 3.1 percent for the year. Westpac economist Michael Gordon is predicting a quarterly rise of 0.6 percent, which matches the market and the Reserve Bank’s forecast. He said the economy was not growing as fast as last year, but still had underlying strength. “The services sectors of the economy are still trucking along pretty nicely,” he said. Michael Gordon also said weaker dairy prices would have an impact on the current account numbers due on Wednesday. The market is expecting a deficit of $9 billion in the March quarter, or 3.8 percent of GDP. This matches the central bank’s expectations. Gordon is forecasting the deficit to have widened to just 3.6 percent in the March quarter.