Better times ahead economists say

Released this week, the latest quarterly NZIER consensus forecast – an average of New Zealand economic forecasts compiled from survey of financial and economic agencies – is predicting economic growth will accelerate from 1.5% in the year ending March 2011 to 2.6% in 2012 and 3.7% in 2013.

NZIER says global fears do not appear to have impacted on New Zealand economists’ expectations much as yet. The Canterbury reconstruction will be the major driver of growth, with more modest recovery elsewhere.

Economic growth will average 3.1% over the next three years. The recovery is being supported by growth in residential construction, led by the Canterbury rebuild. Without that, growth averages 2.7%. The higher New Zealand dollar and weaker global growth will see more moderate, but still resilient, outlook for exports.

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