11 Feb 2014

Growth remains brisk

2:56 pm on 11 February 2014

An analysis of traffic flows suggests growth in the economy could be moderating but is likely to remain brisk.

ANZ Bank's Truckometer, which measures the economy by traffic flows on certain roads, continues to flag solid momentum across the economy.

The more immediate barometer, the heavy traffic index, rose 1.7 percent in January following a 1.4 percent increase in December. The forward-looking light traffic index rose 1.2 percent in January after a small increase in December.

ANZ economist Sharon Zollner said the result suggested the strong economic growth in the latest economic figures in the September quarter last year was more than just a flash in the pan.

"After a large surge in momentum like we saw in the third quarter of last year, it's always difficult to maintain momentum, so what's really encouraging about the Truckometer is that it's suggesting New Zealand really is on a roll and that we're not going to go into a hole any time soon," Ms Zollner said.

However, it might not be as brisk as it was in the December quarter.

"We may well have seen the peak in quarterly growth but the annual growth should continue to increase until we've actually got some growth rates that look pretty respectable on an international basis."

The economy grew 1.4 percent in the September quarter, the fastest pace of growth since the December quarter of 2009.