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IMF backs NZ’s economic, fiscal policy approach

IMF backs NZ’s economic, fiscal policy approach

Confirmation from the International Monetary Fund that New Zealand’s growth prospects have improved and that its macro-economic framework remains sound is a welcome further endorsement of the Government’s economic programme, Finance Minister Bill English says.

As the IMF notes in its concluding statement issued today, New Zealand’s economic expansion is becoming increasingly embedded and broad-based. It forecasts annual economic growth will increase to about 3.5 per cent this year.

“It’s encouraging that the IMF has again noted that our macro-economic framework remains sound and provides policy space to respond to adverse shocks,” Mr English says

“In particular, it concludes the Government’s focus on returning to surplus next year will help to preserve its favourable standing with external creditors against New Zealand’s background of relatively high net foreign liabilities.

“I also agree with the IMF that New Zealand faces some risks, including globally from any downturn in the fortunes of China and the rest of Asia, and on the domestic front from issues around housing affordability.

“As the IMF notes, the Government’s steps to help alleviate housing supply bottlenecks and the Reserve Bank’s measures to tighten mortgage lending and to raise interest rates should help to ease house price pressures.

“The Government’s fiscal deficit reduction programme is also expected to take some pressure off the exchange rate, as the IMF acknowledges.

“So this latest report on New Zealand confirms we remain on the right track to build a faster-growing economy and to manage the global and domestic risks that might come our way,” Mr English says. “That’s important if we are to support more jobs and higher incomes for New Zealand families.”

Ends

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