IMF, S&P give NZ tick

May 15, 2013

The International Monetary Fund has confirmed that the Government’s economic plan strikes the right balance between supporting growth and limiting public debt, Finance Minister Bill English says.

In its final staff report issued this morning, the IMF endorses New Zealand’s balanced and pragmatic economic management.

“Coming out the day before the Budget, this is a strong vote of confidence in the Government’s programme over the past four years,” Mr English says.

“It follows a string of encouraging economic figures, which shows the economy growing at 3 per cent last year, an extra 50,000 jobs over the past two years, falling unemployment and healthy consumer and business confidence.”

In particular, the IMF notes the New Zealand economy appears to have strengthened in the last few months of 2012, with subdued inflation and fiscal policy that strikes the right balance between supporting growth and limiting public debt growth.

The IMF says: “The benefits of the plan are many. First, it withdraws fiscal stimulus at the right time by making room for the expected increases in private sector and earthquake-related reconstruction spending.

“Second, it has improved the macroeconomic policy mix by reducing pressure on monetary policy.

“Third, it creates fiscal space to help the country deal with aging and health care costs that are expected to increase over the long-term, and to cope with any negative shocks that may cause a sharp reduction in domestic economic activity or potential liabilities associated with the banking sector.

“Last, it could help raise national savings, reduce the current account deficit, and limit the increase in foreign liabilities.”

The IMF also notes the New Zealand banks remain sound.

However, it says New Zealand’s longstanding external liabilities remain a risk, reflecting historically low household savings rates.

“The Government has acknowledged this as New Zealand’s largest vulnerability and we have a sound, long-term plan to help turn that around,” Mr English says.

“Our economic programme includes a large number of measures aimed at improving the competitiveness of businesses. They include increasing exports and innovation, improving skills and infrastructure, deepening the capital markets and sustainably developing our natural resources.

“We are making progress in all of these areas.”

We can look across the Tasman to see what a Labor government has accomplished there. We could expect the same, or worse performance from a Labour-led one here.

By contrast National has done exactly what it said it would do – protected people from the worst effects of the global financial turmoil, maintained or enhanced public services while reducing the costs and put us on track to return to surplus in 2014/15.

The IMF report isn’t he only one which gives National’s policies a tick.

Standards and Poors have put New Zealand in its top 10 of least risky countries.

New Zealand, and Australia, have entered credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s list of the world’s top 10 least risky countries.

The list, included in S&P Capital IQ’s latest quarterly Global Sovereign Debt Credit Risk Report, has New Zealand ninth, sandwiched between Australia and Austria. The report focuses on changes in the risk profile of sovereign debt issuers, with the intention of identifying key trends and drivers of change.

New Zealand and Australia are new entrants in the top 10 least risky list replacing Britain and the Netherlands. . .

Lower risk helps takes pressure of interest rates which is good for the economy.

The IMF report is here.


Good but could do better – IMF

April 1, 2010

The International Monetary Fund says New Zealand came through the recession better than many other developed countries and expects continuing modest growth.

However, it notes there are risks:

3. On the external front, the main downside risks are that the global recovery stalls and Chinese demand drops sharply, with negative spillovers for commodity prices. In addition, , risk premiums could rise for countries with high external debt, such as New Zealand, which could raise the cost of capital, constrain growth, and worsen the current account deficit. An increase in global risk appetite is also possible, which may lead to a further appreciation of the exchange rate, making it difficult to rebalance growth toward the tradables sector. An upside risk is that a sharper-than-expected global recovery could raise export income.

4. On the domestic front, a stronger-than-expected recovery may force an earlier tightening in monetary policy, putting upward pressure on the exchange rate. However, faster-than-expected deleveraging by households and businesses may slow the recovery.

 The report commends the government’s fiscal stimulus to 2010 and spending reductions but recommends further spending restraints to enable a return to surpluses sooner.

Finance Minister Bill English is committed to both economic growth and  spending restraint:

“I welcome the IMF’s comments that shifting the tax burden from income to consumption would raise incentives to work and invest – increasing growth over the medium term and improving New Zealand’s competitiveness.

“We are taking a considered and pragmatic approach to addressing New Zealand’s long-standing economic challenges.

“At the same time, we’re significantly reducing the amount of extra government spending and demanding better public services from government agencies. We believe we have struck the right balance on this score,” Mr English says.

Spending restraints and better services are important so too is sustainable growth.

Agriculture will continue to play an important role in that and – if we can get past the emotion that’s clouding discussion – so too could mining.

Tighter control on public spending and improved services can only go so far. Broadening our economic base, as more mining could, would strengthen our economy and make it more resilient. That would have social benefits and it need not come at too high an environmental cost.


March 1 in history

March 1, 2010

On March 1:

752 BC Romulus, first king of Rome celebrated the first Roman triumph after his victory over the Caeninenses.

 

86 BC  Lucius Cornelius Sulla, at the head of a Roman Republic army, entered Athens, removing the tyrant Aristion who was supported by troops of Mithridates VI of Pontus.

286  Roman Emperor Diocletian raised Maximian to the rank of Caesar.

Maximian.gif

293  Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian appointed Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as Caesares, thus beginning the Tetrarchy.

 

317 Crispus and Constantine II, sons of Roman Emperor Constantine I, and Licinius Iunior, son of Emperor Licinius, were made Caesares.

1445  Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter, was born.

1449 Lorenzo de’ Medici, Italian statesman, was born.

Portrait by Agnolo Bronzino

1457 The Unitas Fratrum was established in the village of Kunvald, on the Bohemian-Moravian borderland. It is the second oldest Protestant denomination.

1562 23 Huguenots were massacred by Catholics in Wassy marking the start of the French Wars of Religion.

1565 The city of Rio de Janeiro was founded.

1628 Writs were issued by Charles I of England mandating that every county in England (not just seaport towns) pay ship tax by this date.

1633 Samuel de Champlain reclaimed his role as commander of New France on behalf of Cardinal Richelieu.

1692 Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba were brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning the Salem witch trials.

1810 Frédéric Chopin, Polish composer, was born.
Chopin in 1849

1811 Leaders of the Mameluke dynasty were killed by Egyptian ruler Muhammad Ali.

 

1815 Napoleon returned to France from his banishment on Elba.

1840 Adolphe Thiers became prime minister of France.

1852 Archibald William Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

1870 Marshal F.S. López died during the Battle of Cerro Corá marking the end of the War of the Triple Alliance.

1872 Yellowstone National Park was established as the world’s first national park.

Canary Spring

1873 E. Remington and Sons in Ilion, New York began production of the first practical typewriter.

1886 Maungatautari Whare Uta (Maori bank) was created in response to Maori concern they were being cheated by Pakeha bankers.

Maungatautari Whare Uta (Maori bank) created

 1886 The Anglo-Chinese School, Singapore was founded by Bishop William Oldham.

 

1893 Nikola Tesla made the first public demonstration of radio in St. Louis, Missouri.

1896 Battle of Adowa: an Ethiopian army defeated an outnumbered Italian force, ending the First Italo–Ethiopian War.

Battle of Adwa Tapestry Closeup.png

1896 Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity.

1904 Glenn Miller, American bandleader, was born.

 

1901 The Shotover Bridge (from which I threw myself a couple of years ago – on a bungy cord) opened.

Shotover River bridge opened

1910 The worst avalanche in United States history buried a Great Northern Railway train in northeastern King County, Washington, killing 96 people.

 

1910 David Niven, English actor, was born.

 

1912 Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.

1917 Robert Lowell, American poet (, was born.

1919 March 1st Movement began in Korea.

 The March 1st Movement monument.

1922 Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born.

1927 Harry Belafonte, American musician and activist, was born.

 

1932 The son of Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, was kidnapped.

1936 The Hoover Dam was completed.

Hoover Dam

1936 – A strike occurred aboard the S.S. California, leading to the demise of the International Seamen’s Union and the creation of the National Maritime Union.

1939 Japanese Imperial Army ammunition dump exploded at Hirakata, Osaka, killing 94.

1939 Trans-Canada Air Lines (forerunner of Air Canada) begins transcontinental operations (between Vancouver and Montreal).

1944 – Mike d’Abo, English singer (Manfred Mann), was born.

1944 Roger Daltrey, English musician (The Who), was born.

1946 The Bank of England was nationalised.

1947 The International Monetary Fund began financial operations.

International Monetary Fund logo.svg

1953 Joseph Stalin suffered a stroke and collapsed, he died four days later.

1954  Ron Howard, American actor and director, was born.

1954 Nuclear testing: The Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, was detonated on Bikini Atoll resulting in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused by the United States.

Castle Bravo Blast.jpg

1956  Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania, was born.

1956  The International Air Transport Association finalised a draft of the Radiotelephony spelling alphabet for the International Civil Aviation Organization.

1956 – Formation of the National People’s Army

1958 – Turkish passenger ship Uskudar capsized and sank at Izmit Bay, Kocaeli, killing at least 300.

1961  President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps.

US-PeaceCorps-Logo.svg

1961 – Uganda became self-governing and held its first elections.

1964 Villarrica Volcano began a strombolian eruption causing lahas that destroy half of the town Coñaripe.

 

1966Venera 3 Soviet space probe crashed on Venus becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet‘s surface.

1966 – The Ba’ath Party took power in Syria.

Ba'ath Party flag

1973 Black September terrorists stormed the Saudi embassy in Khartoum, Sudan resulting in the 1973 Khartoum diplomatic assassinations.

1975 Colour television transmissions began in Australia.

1981  Bobby Sands began his hunger strike.

Bobby sands mural in belfast320.jpg

1992 Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence from Yugoslavia.

1995 Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak resigned from parliament and was replaced by ex-communist Józef Oleksy.

2000 – Hans Blix assumed the position of Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC.

2002 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda began in eastern Afghanistan.

Anaconda-helicopter.jpg

2002 – The Envisat environmental satellite successfully reached an orbit 800 kilometers (500 miles) above the Earth on its 11th launch, carrying the heaviest payload to date at 8500 kilograms (9.5 tons).

 

2002 The peseta was discontinued as official currencyof Spain and replaced with the euro (€).

100 pesetas 200 pesetas - Madrid European Capital of Culture - 1992

2003 – The International Criminal Court held its inaugural session in The Hague.

2004 Mohammed Bahr al-Uloum becomes President of Iraq.

2005 Death penalty for juveniles revoked in United States of America.

2006 English-language Wikipedia reached its one millionth article, Jordanhill railway station.

White sphere made of large jigsaw pieces. Letters from many alphabets are shown on the pieces.

2007 Tornadoes swarmed across the southern United States, killing at least 20.

2007 – “Squatters” were evicted from Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen, provoking the March 2007 Denmark Riots.

 

2008  Armenian police clashed with peaceful opposition rally protesting against allegedly fraudulent presidential elections 2008 killing at least 10 people.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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