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NEW ZEALAND, New Zealand — A surge in exports of laminated timber is easing concerns of a recession, boosting confidence in the economy.
New Zealand’s export sector added more than 10,000 jobs in June from a year earlier, according to the Commerce Ministry.
The increase was more than double the year-earlier figure.
Newly-installed laminators are a critical component of the countrys lumber exports.
While the sector is a relatively small one, its share of the economy has risen dramatically in recent years.
Lumber exports grew by 5.3% in the first six months of this year, up from 4.4% in 2015, according the ministry.
Lumber is the third-largest export product after steel and cement.
The growth in exports was driven by an influx of new customers from China, a major exporter of lumber, which accounts for half of all exports to New Zealand.
Laminators were already an integral part of New Zealand’s lumber exports in the 1980s and 1990s, when they were used to manufacture wood products such as lumber boards and timber frame.
Lamps, also known as firewood, were also used in the early 1900s, before New Zealands industrial revolution began in the 1970s.
The government says exports of lumber rose 5.6% in June to a record high of $3.1 billion, compared to $2.9 billion in the same month last year.
That was more export volume than in any six-month period since February 2015, when exports of wood were down more than 30%.
The export surge is part of a broader rebound in New Zealand stock markets, which have been buoyed by rising global demand and strong economic growth.
Investors were hoping that the recent surge in demand would help spur exports, and the government said Wednesday that exports are expected to continue to grow.
Lamp sales are forecast to rise 2.4%.
In June, the share of lamp exports to the economy was up 0.4%, compared to a year ago.
The lamp industry accounts for about 10% of the total exports to Canada and the United States, but accounts for only about 5% of overall exports.