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Reserve Bank confirms strong economic growth

The Reserve Bank confirmed today that New Zealand has now entered a new era of strong and sustained export-led economic growth, Treasurer Bill English said today.

"The Bank says we are now growing at 4% a year, and forecasts that rate of growth to continue for the next two years.

"This is excellent news for the country. It reinforces the confidence of the business community that New Zealand is entering a period of sustained growth.

"These are the best growth figures since 1994/95 and it is a job-rich recovery. In the last year 25,000 new jobs have been created in New Zealand.

"The Reserve Bank is forecasting another 13,000 extra jobs by March, another 40,000 in the year after that, and 44,000 the following year.

"Exports are driving this recovery. The Bank's figures show New Zealand's export growth rising to 7.8% next year and averaging better than 6% for the two-year period.

"The latest OECD economic outlook, also released today, shows New Zealand's growth rate matching Australia, and well ahead of the US, Canada and the large majority of European countries.

"The economy is now moving fast. A modest shift now in interest rates will ensure sustained and robust growth. This recovery is not going to be lost in the wheel-spin of inflation.

"The main threat on the horizon is a three-legged left-wing coalition propped up by Winston Peters. Dr Cullen's economic policies are backwards looking.

"His programme of big spending and high taxes will choke the recovery. Stupid policies like renationalising ACC and repealing the ECA does nothing except increase costs and will kick the stuffing out of those people who are driving this growth. New Zealanders need encouragement not obstruction from economic policy.

"And, finally, Dr Cullen is soft on inflation. He is the only person saying the Reserve Bank should not have moved," said Mr English.


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