WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand's economy all but stalled in the first quarter as lower prices for milk and oil pushed down growth to 0.2 percent.
It was the worst quarterly performance in two years and below market expectations. The figures released Thursday pushed down the currency by more than 1 percent, with the New Zealand dollar trading at about 69 U.S. cents.
Wholesale prices for the country's key dairy exports have fallen by more than 50 percent since early last year.
Figures showed agriculture declined by 2.3 percent during the quarter due to lower milk and forestry exports. Mining was down 7.8 percent due to decreased oil and gas extraction.
The economy grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent when comparing the most recent quarter with the same quarter last year.