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IMF positive about fiscal and economic performance

5 May 2006

IMF positive about fiscal and economic performance

Finance Minister Michael Cullen today welcomed the latest report on New Zealand by the International Monetary Fund saying it was positive about the underlying performance of the economy and about the government's economic management.

"The IMF notes that the New Zealand economy is slowing after a period of strong growth, but like most other forecasters it sees this as temporary with an export led recovery getting underway in 2007.

"In fact it states that the chances of a hard landing have diminished and recognises that strong household income growth and the government's Working for Families package will help mitigate any downside risks that may remain.

"The IMF states that the "medium-term orientation of fiscal policy continues to serve New Zealand well" and that it has kept public debt low and on a declining path.

"Today's Crown financial statements confirming a positive net financial asset position will further reinforce the IMF's views.

"The fund also supports the government's intention to ensure "value for money" in government spending.

"I am pleased the IMF endorses the government's view that although New Zealand's fiscal position is strong, there are limits on the scope for a big spend-up or tax give away and that the prudence and discipline the government has been exercising should be maintained," Dr Cullen said.


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