New Zealand economy grows 3.8 pct, 6-year fastest

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Associated Press

Posted on June 19, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 19 at 2:04 AM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand's economy in the first quarter grew 3.8 percent, the fastest annual rate in more than six years.

According to the figures released by the Statistics New Zealand on Thursday, construction grew by 12.5 percent, led by Christchurch, which is rebuilding after a 2011 earthquake destroyed hundreds of buildings.

Home building activity was up by 31 percent in Christchurch and 12 percent elsewhere.

Exports were up 3.1 percent while household spending was flat.

New Zealand's growth has been stronger than in most developed nations, including Australia, the U.S. and Europe. That has prompted the country's central bank to hike interest rates on three occasions this year to 3.25 percent.

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