New Zealand's gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 4.2 percent in the year to the end of March 2011, after a 1-percent increase in the March 2010 year, the government statistics agency announced Friday.
The increase reflected a 3.2-percent rise in compensation of employees, which followed a 0.5-percent rise in the previous March year, and a rise in business profits of 4.2 percent after an increase of 1 percent the previous year, according to the National Accounts published by Statistics New Zealand.
The rise in business profits was the first rise above their previous peak in the March 2008 year.
Business investment in fixed assets in New Zealand rose 6.7 percent in the year to the end of March, the first rise in three years, said a statement from the agency.
The rise compared with a fall of 10.3 percent in the year to March 2009 and 16.5 percent in 2010, said the statement.
Total investment by business and government in fixed assets rose 5.9 percent in the year ending March, driven by increases in transport equipment, other construction such as roads and bridges, and residential building, said the statement.
The rises followed falls for all three asset types in the year to the end of March 2010.
National disposable income rose 3 percent for the year ending March 2011, while national spending by households and government increased by 3.6 percent, leading to a fall from 2 billion NZ dollars (1.49 billion U.S. dollars) in 2010 to 1.2 billion NZ dollars in the March 2011 year.
Reinsurance payments from the earthquakes that have shaken the South Island's Canterbury region since September last year made New Zealand a net lender to the rest of the world in the March 2011 year.
Net lending -- the difference between New Zealand's capital receipts from and payments to the rest of the world -- was 4.3 billion NZ dollars in the March 2011 year, compared with a net borrowing of 3.9 billion NZ dollars in the March 2010 year.
It was the first time in more than 30 years that New Zealand's capital receipts had been higher than capital payments to the rest of the world.