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Wellington (AFP) Dec 18, 2013
New Zealand's economy grew 1.4 percent in the July-September quarter, led by a surge in agricultural production following a drought, official data showed Thursday.
It was the biggest quarterly expansion in gross domestic product since December 2009 and took annual economic growth to 2.6 percent, Statistics New Zealand said.
"Dairy farming has really bounced back from the drought this year," acting national accounts manager Steffi Schuster said.
"The increase in agriculture (17 percent) is the largest in more than 25 years, as good weather boosted production well above the weak June quarter."
Finance Minister Bill English said the strong figures would help boost confidence in the economy.
"Despite the worst drought for several decades earlier this year, New Zealand now has one of the faster growing developed economies in the world," he said.
Aside from the jump in agricultural production, particularly dairy, the economy also recorded a modest 1.5 percent rise in manufacturing. There was a 1.0 percent fall in construction and a 0.8 percent dip in business services.
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