Growth rebounds in New Zealand as it escapes recession

New Zealand saw a rebound in gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter, according to official statistics released on Thursday, which showed the country avoided recession earlier this year. The revised statistics were welcomed by the government as they show that the recession at the start of the year has not finally occurred as it faces parliamentary elections on October 14.

The Pacific nation’s GDP remained flat in the January-March period, not falling by 0.1% as initially estimated, statistics service Stats NZ said. The economy already contracted in the last quarter of 2022, which would mean two consecutive quarters of decline, signaling the entry into recession. During the second quarter of 2023, quarterly growth accelerated to 0.9% compared to the previous quarter, Stats NZ said.

New Zealand’s economy is doing better than expectedsaid Finance Minister Grant Robertson, whose centre-left Labor government is trailing the conservative opposition National Party in the polls, partly because of high inflation. “Growth continues and the latest figures show there was no recession in New Zealand earlier this year“, Grant Robertson rejoiced.

The economy is turning the corner and showing its strength in the face of a worsening global economy and the impact of extreme weather eventshe said, referring to Cyclone Gabrielle in February, which led to a hefty bill that could reach NZ$15 billion ($9 billion). Services were the main driver of growth in the second quarter, Stats NZ noted.

Elliot Frost

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