NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds

  • Hon Grant Robertson

A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across the three years of 2019-2021 as world trade growth falls.

New Zealand’s relative strength stands out in the forecasts. Our economy is forecast to grow between 2.4% and 2.7% over the same time.

“This is further evidence that New Zealand’s economy is in good shape,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. The OECD said New Zealand’s growth will remain steady, and that business investment is set to expand.

“Our economic outlook is stronger the countries we traditionally compare ourselves against, like Australia, Canada, the US, the EU, Japan, Norway and Sweden.

“New Zealand hasn’t been immune to the global uncertainty from issues like the US-China trade war, Brexit and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. We are well positioned to counter these global headwinds, with low interest rates, low unemployment and low Government debt.

“Looking backwards, economists are picking the September quarter was softer in terms of growth. But it’s been good to see signs recently of the economy picking up again towards the end of the year, underpinned by the investments the Government is making.

“In the past week we’ve seen our services and manufacturing industries expanding, while we’ve also recently seen the highest wage growth in a decade and the third lowest unemployment rate.

“The Government is supporting the economy with our Economic Plan. We’re making record infrastructure investment in regional roads and rail, backing businesses to innovate and grow through R&D, and boosting the wages of working New Zealanders through the minimum wage and Families Package.”

Note to editors:

NZ’s growth is forecast to be stronger than the countries we traditionally compare ourselves against. These include: Australia (between 1.7% and 2.3% growth over the three years 2019-2021), Canada (1.5%-1.7%) the US (2%-2.3%), the Euro Area (1.1%-1.2%), Japan (0.6%-1%), Norway (1.1%-2.4%) and Sweden (1.2%-1.4%).