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OECD Forecast Suggests Still Some Way To Go

NZBR: Media Release

22 November 2002


New figures showing New Zealand's economic growth this year to be the OECD's third-highest are pleasing and are testimony to the solid base built by the reforms of the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the favourable effects of high export prices and the low exchange rate, according to New Zealand Business Roundtable Chairman Rob McLeod.

The OECD forecast for New Zealand has the economy growing at 4% this year and at 3% and 3.4% over the next two years.

These figures are in line with New Zealand's economic growth trends since the early 1990s, with real GDP growing by an average of 3.1% in the ten years to 2001, Mr McLeod said.

"The reforms put in place since the mid-1980s have built a solid platform for better economic outcomes over recent years. As a result of these reforms, the economy is much more flexible. So far, this has allowed New Zealand to maintain its economic momentum despite weaknesses in some other economies, said Mr McLeod.

"We cannot be complacent. The forecast growth rates - even with the favourable export situation - are well below the sustained economic growth in real GDP per-capita of at least 4% per year required to achieve the government's goal of reaching the top half of the OECD income rankings. Only a focus on pro-growth policies, including tax, spending and regulatory reform, will make the government's target an achievable goal. This would be consistent with the OECD's general observation that economic reform remains an essential ingredient for long-term growth."


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