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New Zealand economy bounces back to pre-pandemic levels, exceeding forecasts



PHOTO: Flickr/Prachatai

Analysts in New Zealand say the country’s economy has bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, outperforming forecasts. Growth was better than expected, at 1.6% in the first quarter of this year. The growth between January and March exceeded analysts’ expectations, surpassing the anticipated 0.5% increase. The economy has already reversed a 1% contraction seen in the last quarter of 2020.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand has managed to effectively control Covid-19, with no recent cases of community transmission reported. In total, the country has recorded 2,713 cases and 26 deaths, for a population of 5 million. The successful suppression of the virus means Covid-19 restrictions are minimal.

Thai PBS World reports Statistics New Zealand as saying the latest figures show the economy has grown by 2.4% in the 12 months to March 31. The bounce-back is being attributed to spending on hospitality and retail, including the purchase of luxury items like televisions and cars.

According to Jarrod Kerr, chief economist with Kiwibank, the rise in domestic spending has more than made up for the short-lived recession and the drop in tourism seen in 2020. He says New Zealand’s thriving property market also led to a 6.6% rise in construction in the first quarter of 2021

“The economy has confidently returned to pre-Covid levels. We’ve more than dodged a double dip recession. We’ve outrun it. We’re spending and building our way out of the hole that Covid created.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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