New Zealand officially bounced out of recession with a 14 per cent rebound in gross domestic product (GDP) over the September quarter, making it the strongest quarterly growth figure on record, Stats NZ said.
Market expectations were for a quarterly gain of 13 to 14 per cent.
The quarterly gain follows two successive contractions - the official definition of a recession - over the March and June quarters.
However, those two negative quarters dragged the annual GDP number for the year to September down to minus 2.2 per cent.
Stats NZ revised the June quarter contraction to 11 per cent from 12.2 per cent.
There were fewer restrictions on activity in the September 2020 quarter than during the COVID-19 lockdown-impacted June 2020 quarter, though Auckland was at alert level 3 in August, Stats NZ said.
"This resulted in the strongest quarterly growth in GDP on record in New Zealand, as the economy bounced back from the lockdown earlier in the year when non-essential businesses closed," national accounts senior manager Paul Pascoe said in a statement.