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Truckometer: Economy hitting top gear

The latest ANZ Truckometer index reveals strong economic activity has persisted into the start of the final quarter of the year.

Heavy traffic rose on eight of 11 roads in the Heavy Traffic Index in October, lifting it by 0.3%. The index's growth parallels GDP growth.

ANZ says this bodes well for the economy’s short-term growth prospects and indicates a strong third quarter GDP result may be in store, especially once drought bounce-back is taken into account.

Dairy production is currently running about 5% ahead of last year’s production for the first five months of the season.

The Heavy Traffic Index is now proving the Light Traffic Index’s prediction of a strong second half to the year.

The ANZ light traffic index lifted 1.8% in October, its strongest monthly rise since May. Light traffic rose on all 10 roads in the index in October.

ANZ says this is a welcome result after a few months of small falls, which were suggesting the upward trend in the index was running out of steam.

A strong bounce back in the primary sector is leading the growth in the economy, ANZ says, while the Canterbury rebuild and housing market are also providing impetus.

ANZ says in the long term the supply side of the economy faces challenges and the impact of earthquakes will still remain to distort it.