Govt welcomes vote of confidence in economic management

  • Hon Grant Robertson

The Coalition Government’s economic and fiscal management has received another vote of confidence today from ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.

S&P today revised its outlook on New Zealand’s AA foreign and AA+ local currency credit ratings up to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’. This is the strongest stance S&P has held on New Zealand since September 2011. It comes after Moody’s recently reaffirmed its AAA rating.

In a report titled ‘New Zealand Outlook Revised to Positive on Improving Fiscal Position’, S&P referenced our “solid economic growth”. It also said the Government’s “proactive policy-making supports sustainable public finances and economic growth”.

S&P compared our fiscal position and economic outlook against other countries with similar credit ratings to New Zealand. It specifically noted New Zealand’s per capita GDP growth “continues to outpace similarly rated peers”.

“The report from S&P continues to note that New Zealand’s external balances are a risk – mostly due to private sector debt held offshore. However, they do note that housing-related imbalances facing our financial system have stabilised recently, and may continue to stabilise as a result of Government policy.

“The Coalition Government continues to keep a close eye on the volatile global economic situation. Our strong fiscal position and resilient economy mean we are well-placed to face these challenges, while making the essential investments New Zealand needs for the future. Today’s outlook revision from S&P is another sign that New Zealand’s economic fundamentals are strong.”