The latest IMF report on New Zealand is by and large a positive one.
Finance Minister Bill English reminds us that it wasn’t nearly as positive a few years ago:
Louise Upston: What comments has the International Monetary Fund made previously about the New Zealand economy?
Hon BILL ENGLISH: In the light of recent discussion about the history of the New Zealand economy, I looked for the IMF reports from 1975. That seems to have been the focus of economic debate in the House, but actually I could not find any. Instead, I went to the 2008 IMF report, where the IMF talked about a number of issues facing New Zealand, including what it described in careful bureaucratic language as “rapidly appreciating house prices”. It noted that in response to rising inflation the official cash rate reached 8.25 percent and homeowners faced floating mortgage rates of 11 percent. The current account deficit was 8 percent. All of those numbers are about double what they are now, and they are measures of the wreckage that the previous Labour Government did to the New Zealand economy.
It’s important to remember that wreckage because anything Labour is threatening us with should it return to government in September is more of what caused the problems in the last term – higher taxes and higher spending.
That’s what put New Zealand into recession before the global financial crisis.
It’s careful management by National which has turned round the forecast decade of deficits and has got the economy growing again.
One result of that is more jobs:
. . . Nationwide job numbers have been rising for the last 18 months with more people seeking work and successfully finding jobs across the country.
According to the recruiter’s latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots list of skills in demand for the April to June quarter, the jobs growth is being led by professional, technical and administration workers.
Significantly, it’s not only the rebuild in Christchurch that is generating new employment opportunities in New Zealand; jobs growth is gathering pace across all regions of the country. . .
Employment has lagged other positive indicators but that too is changing for the better.