22 Jun 2012

Interest rates may have bottomed out

7:05 am on 22 June 2012

Interest rate cuts look increasingly unlikely, after an unexpectedly large jump in New Zealand's economic activity.

But economists say questions about the consistency of economic growth, and lingering uncertainty about Europe's debt crisis, mean the possibility of a cut can't be ruled out entirely.

Gross Domestic Product rose by 1.1% in the first three months of the year, driven by increased food manufacturing and milk production.

The result is more than double the 0.4% percent growth recorded in the previous quarter, and is well ahead of economists' and the Reserve Bank's expectations.

Infometrics chief economist Gareth Kiernan says it's a much stronger-than-expected result, but it may be a blip.

But UBS senior economist Robin Clements cautions that the GDP data should be taken with a grain of salt, saying other indicators point to more modest growth over the coming year.