Wellington, April 18, 2018
I welcome the Concluding Statement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), released following its annual visit, which provides an independent assessment of the strength of the New Zealand economy.
The IMF said that we have a favourable outlook with annual economic activity expected to remain strong at around 3% growth, and that financial vulnerabilities have stabilised.
The IMF was positive about the Government’s policy agenda, with fiscal, monetary and prudential policy settings considered to be broadly appropriate.
They expect a soft landing for the housing market and noted that KiwiBuild should result in a gradual increase in residential investment growth.
The IMF welcomed New Zealand’s continued support of open trade and our multi-lateral trade framework saying that, as one of the initial signatories of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), New Zealand will benefit from increased market access and new growth opportunities.
On the Reserve Bank Act Review currently underway, IMF staff welcomed the outcome of Phase One and supported the introduction of the employment mandate for the Central Bank.
The Coalition Government priorities are to make the investments in our critical public services while managing the country’s finances carefully and responsibly.
This IMF Statement follows recent positive reviews from the major credit rating agencies of our Government’s economic plan and different priorities.
Grant Roberson is Finance Minister of New Zealand
(Picture from file)