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Eagle eye required on oil price impacts

Tuesday, 12 October 2004

Eagle eye required on oil price impacts

United Future energy spokesperson Gordon Copeland believes that the escalation in the price of crude oil to beyond $US50 constitutes a new risk to New Zealand’s continued economic growth.

“In response to my question in the House today, Finance Minister Michael Cullen revealed that last week’s International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington estimated that the higher price of oil will likely reduce economic growth by half of 1%.

“Dr Cullen believes the effect on the NZ economy will be mitigated by the strength of the $NZ against the $US.

“This raises a new issue. What happens if the $NZ weakens against the $US, triggering higher prices and an inflationary spiral?

“Both the government and the Reserve Bank will need to monitor these developments very carefully,” said Mr Copeland.

ENDS

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