Milk fuels New Zealand's economy

New figures indicate New Zealand's economy is booming thanks to a big increase in milk production.

Statistics New Zealand estimates GDP grew at an annual clip of 5.6 percent from July through September. Over the year, the economy grew by 3.5 percent. By comparison, the economies of developed nations averaged 1.4 percent growth over the year.

The September quarter was the strongest in nearly four years, driven by a 17 percent increase in agricultural output as farmers recovered from a drought earlier in 2012. International dairy prices have also been robust.

New Zealand's economy relies on dairy farming and quarterly figures can be volatile because the weather plays a role.

Manufacturing was up 1.5 percent in the quarter and household spending up 0.4 percent. Construction was down 1 percent.

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