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Another vote of confidence in Govt’s economic management

Hon Grant Robertson
Minister of Finance

22 September 2018

PĀNUI PĀPĀHO

MEDIA STATEMENT

Another vote of confidence in the Coalition Government’s economic management

The Coalition Government is welcoming another sign that our economic plan and decisions to run surpluses and pay down debt are paying off for New Zealand, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says.

International credit rating agency Moody’s last night reaffirmed its Aaa rating with a stable outlook on the New Zealand Government’s financial position – the highest score it is able to give.

“In its latest update on New Zealand, Moody’s says the Government’s fiscal management has created the space needed for investment in areas like infrastructure, affordable housing, education and policies to support families. This is exactly what we planned for at Budget 2018 – while continuing to live within our means by running sustainable surpluses,” Grant Robertson said.

“Moody’s says they expect New Zealand’s growth to be stronger in the next few years than other Aaa-rated countries. They also say our debt reduction track will see government debt fall significantly lower than other Aaa countries.

“As Moody’s notes, this is important because New Zealand is more susceptible to the classic rainy day – natural disasters and changes in the international economy – than some of our peers.

“That’s exactly why we are staying within the Budget Responsibility Rules. These include running sustainable surpluses, getting net debt down to 20% of GDP within five years, and making sure government expenses remain under control and in line with what Governments over the past 20 years managed.

“The update from Moody’s comes on the heels of this week’s GDP figures showing the New Zealand economy had its best performance in two years over the latest quarter. The economy grew by 1% in the three months to June 30, with broad-based, inclusive growth across industries and regions. It’s not just the one quarter that looks good – real GDP growth over the first half of 2018 was in line with the Treasury’s Budget forecast, and business investment is up 5.7% from a year ago.

“The Coalition Government has undertaken to work alongside business as the economy continues its transition to growth that is more productive, sustainable and inclusive, and which doesn’t just rely on property speculation and population growth as its main drivers,” Grant Robertson said.

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