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Government’s economic strategy unchanged

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The Government is committed to building on its proven track record of strong economic and fiscal management, Acting Finance Minister Steven Joyce says.

“New Zealand is in an enviable position compared with most developed countries,” Mr Joyce says. “We are making good economic progress. We’re achieving steady growth, keeping debt well under control, and delivering fiscal surpluses.

“The Government’s fiscal priorities remain unchanged. We’ll continue to keep a tight rein on spending to drive growing OBEGAL surpluses and reduce net debt to around 20 per cent of GDP in 2020.”

Mr Joyce says the Kaikōura earthquakes last month highlighted the importance of delivering on the Government's fiscal strategy.

“Keeping on top of spending and paying down debt in the good times ensures we are in a good position to cope with economic shocks and natural disasters, and allows the Government to support New Zealand communities through challenging times,” Mr Joyce says.

“Last week’s economic and fiscal update is forecasting this good performance to continue. Real GDP growth is expected to average around 3 per cent over the five year forecast period.

“Unemployment is forecast to drop to close to 4 per cent by 2020/21, with another 150,000 jobs to be created over the same period. Average wages are expected to continue rising faster than inflation – up another $7,500 to $66,000 by 2020/21.

“These forecasts are of course just forecasts, but they provide confidence that New Zealand is on the right economic path, and is well placed to cope with the ongoing fragile nature of the world economy.”

“This Government is committed to taking forward eight years of hard work and keep delivering real results for New Zealanders,” Mr Joyce says.

“We will build on our strengths as a more diverse economy with a safe, stable and secure business environment, focused on attracting investment and growing innovation in the economy, and advancing open trade with international trading partners.”