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IMF concerned about NZ's economy

Jim Anderton MP Thu Sep 16 1999

Jim Anderton
MPAn IMF report expressing serious concerns about New Zealand's low rate of growth, 'very high' balance of payments deficit and overseas debt emphasises the need for a new government, Alliance leader Jim Anderton says.

He says the IMF report reflects concerns the Alliance has been expressing for years.

'The Government has no policies to deal with the concerns of the IMF except more of the same.

'The IMF is particulrly worried about low growth figures, a 'very high' current account deficit and a foreign debt to GDP ratio which is already the highest of the industrialised countries.

'The IMF says that our projected growth rates are not high enough for New Zealand to catch up with the advanced-economy average.

'Not only have the costs of structural adjustment to the economy been crippling to many, but now we are told that our economy cannot produce the growth we need to keep up with the rest of the world. Not much return for fifteen years of pain.

'The IMF views our overseas deficit as 'very high' at present and says this leaves us 'vulnerable to external shocks'. The Government's free- market policies are only making things worse.

'The current account deficit has contributed to our extreme foreign debt. While the Government tries to hide the problem by facile distinctions between private and public debt, the IMF is more realistic. Its view is that 'vulnerabilities associated with the large...(foreign)debt' are our number one economic concern.

'Weak terms of trade and supply constraints, imposed by years of economic mismanagement, put New Zealand in a very precarious economic position. Only a change of Government can give this country the economic management we need to regain our economic prosperity,' Jim Anderton said.

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