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NZ economic forecast “deteriorating”

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, January 23rd, 2013 - 50 comments
Categories: economy, national - Tags: ,

Another day, another report on the ongoing failure of the global economy – “Stagnation until 2017 tipped for world’s economies“. Despite the massive bail-out from government / tax payers, our current systems (designed to enrich the 1%) are not delivering. Perhaps it’s time for a new paradigm, a more equitable distribution of wealth, and a recognition that we have to work within environmental constraints instead of trampling all over them. Yeah I know – never going to happen.

Anyway, buried in the fine print of the above linked article are some interesting snippets on NZ as assessed by “international credit reporting agency Dun and Bradstreet (D&B)”:

New Zealand has not been downgraded since March 2011, and emerged from 2012 with a D&B rating of low risk, arising from a small degree of uncertainty associated with expected returns and a strengthened banking sector.

In a global context we are “low risk”, thanks to the good position that the last Labour government left us. But…

D&B said that despite New Zealand’s relative safety, its overall risk profile was classified as “deteriorating” owing to a decline in some export prices and a rise in the unemployment rate to a 13-year high of 7.3 per cent late last year.

Downgraded in March 2011 and currently deteriorating. Good work National.


50 comments on “NZ economic forecast “deteriorating””

  1. PlanetOrphan 1

    Must be time to sell our “World Class Education Payroll System” 😈

  2. muzza 2

    Not sure why people are still under the belief that the last Labour govt left us in a *good position*, which is yet another myth – Sure, compared to where the figures are at now it looks, good, but lets not sit around talking up, what is not true!

    So the question becomes – How will the major problems facing NZ, be addressed by any potential future govt? (I’m not talking about electoral campaign lies, or spin)

    IMO, the major issues (or the minor issues) will not be addressed, by any party, and NZ is past the point of no return (collective failing). We do not have the active participation that will force the change, there are too many who believe the current political system can provide the solutions, it can’t!

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      “Not sure why people are still under the belief that the last Labour govt left us in a *good position*, which is yet another myth – Sure, compared to where the figures are at now it looks, good, but lets not sit around talking up, what is not true!”

      Erm, Labour got us to a net 0 debt position (there was still some gross debt on the books). That same position has allowed the current National government to borrow up to 30% of our annual GDP by 2014. If Labour had not gotten us to such a low debt position, we wouldn’t have been able to borrow as cheaply as we had, and the economy would likely be in a worse position (and/or the government would have been forced to make (even more) unpopular decisions than they have).

    • Enough is Enough 2.2

      Have to agree with Muzza that Labour didn’t address the fundamental problems in the economy when they had the chance.

      Labour was able to leave the books in good shape because they were flooded with tax dollars on the back of Kiwis going on a debt fuelled spending binge. As government debt shrunk, personal debt balooned. It was a debt swap. Nothing more, nothing less.

      There was no fundamental restructure of the economy which would have rebalanced the economy and ‘closed the gaps’.

      Yep they did many good things and were infinitly better than this corrupt mob, but I think history will tell us that they missed the opportunity to create a truly equitable society.

      • muzza 2.2.1


        Debt is Debt, regardless of which level it is incurred, individual/company/district/city/country, the interest flows back out from the country (alongside the profits), largely to the same coffers, and the consequences to society, will turn negative, always!

        The only thing the last Labour Govt did for the economy, was allow the explosion of private debt which kept control the national debt, which has allowed the current govt crooks to ratchet up the national debt to dangerous levels.

        So no, Labour did not manage the economy well, no matter which argument/articles/evidence people can dredge up, it can be easily shot to pieces by Labours, failing to control the inflows of *easy credit*!

      • tc 2.2.2

        “There was no fundamental restructure of the economy which would have rebalanced the economy and ‘closed the gaps’ ”

        Agree and way to timid with compulsory savings, getting a CGT, a proper competition framework (not rebstock’s rubber stamping monopoly ploys), same for the NZX and the Finance industry, carbon tax etc

        HOWEVER most of this required NZFirst/United Future/Ohairyone/anderton etc to agree and therein lies the issue, all well and good to blame Clark etc but unlike the NACT they didn’t have the votes behind the facade of another party like ACT/MP/UF does for the Nat’s as they were bought off to join the plunder.

        • Enough is Enough

          I am not sure whether I follow you TC. Which policy of Labour’s between 1999 and 2008, which would have had the effect of restructuring the neo-liberal economy, was defeated by their coalition parties?

      • burt 2.2.3

        As government debt shrunk, personal debt balooned. It was a debt swap. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Exactly… and the biggest impact was on low-middle earners – like always the policies of envy end up hurting the ones they are supposed to help – happens every time – but myopic partisans simply choose not to believe it.

        • Colonial Viper

          How is the property owning upper middle class loading up on property speculation debt anything to do with helping low-middle earners?

          Get a grip and make some sense next time, Mon Partisan.

    • Molly 2.3

      Link to government debt as a % of GDP. Easy to follow through from Labour led govt in 1999 to the change of government in 2008. Reserve Bank http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/extfin/e3/download.html

      … perhaps reinforces the idea about “good position”….

      And, yes, this does only refer to financial position.

    • burt 2.4

      Not sure why people are still under the belief that the last Labour govt left us in a *good position*

      Because Labour in their usual telling fat porkies fashion said so….

      Socialism is great till you run out of other peoples money and that is what happened in 2007 before the global financial crisis… but don’t expect anything but rose coloured glasses from the followers of a flag colour.

      • fatty 2.4.1

        Socialism is great till you run out of other peoples money and that is what happened in 2007 before the global financial crisis… but don’t expect anything but rose coloured glasses from the followers of a flag colour.

        Good point…but you clearly mean capitalism, not socialism

      • geoff 2.4.2

        Capitalism is great till you‘ve bled everyone dry and there’s no one left to flog your shit too


    • Daveosaurus 2.5

      Keep on saying that, Muzza, and some of the easily led amongst us might even start believing it.

      Meanwhile, back in the real world…

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    In an era of irreversible global energy and resource depletion we are going to see MSM touted economic recovery time frames pushed out again and again and again.

    This year it will be growth (or budget surplus) returns in 2015/2016. Next year it will be growth returns in 2016/2017. The year after that, it will be growth returns in 2017/2018. And so on.

    Once you notice it, you’ll see it happening everywhere. The flow of hopium to the people cannot be allowed to stop. Otherwise they might demand real change.

    • PlanetOrphan 3.1

      Can’t have riots in the streets,
      Must pacify with bullshit,
      Where’s my favourite reporters, I’ve got some shit to sell ….

  4. Alinsky 4

    “Not sure why people are still under the belief that the last Labour govt left us in a *good position*”

    Reason #1: Because Labour didn’t intentionally destroy our manufacturing sector, which is the source of a society’s wealth. See Bryan Gould in today’s NZ Herald.


    Reason #2: Because Labour didn’t sell income producing government owned assets.

    Reason #3: Because Labour knew unemployed people are our most valuable wasted asset, not a source of cheaper productivity for the wealthy few.

    Reason #4: Because Labour was NOT dedicated to the neoliberal holy mantra “greed is virtuous, especially when it enriches the already wealthy.”

    • Pete 4.1

      Reason #4 Because Labour created the Cullen Fund and Kiwisaver, which help to secure the retirement of our aging population and act as a source of capital for productive investments.

      • muzza 4.1.1

        I think you’ll find that the Cullen Fund and Kiwi Saver, which rely on growth to provide returns, are likley to be providing/causing a net negative!

        As for the last labour govt *not being dedicated to the neoliberal holy mantra….” – ROT

        1: What do you think the Cullen fund is invested in – Hint, it’s tied to neoliberal ideological thinking

        2: Why did the L govt allow the influx of *hot money*, and the explosion of the housing bubble, if they were *NOT dedicated to the neoliberal mantra* – That happened on their watch!

        Stop kidding yourselves!

        • Pete

          I think this is an area where there is genuine philosophical disagreement between various commentators on this site. I’m not convinced myself that we’ve reached the end of growth. I do think we should gear ourselves towards a post-oil economy, but that’s not the same thing.

          • muzza

            Pete, I think I understand where you’re coming from.

            If we have not reached the end of growth (I agree, but from the perspective that it will continue to chanted as the mantra, and driven towards, i.e not a good perspective), what would you say that good growth could be measured as , and how would you see the path to , good growth playing out under the current models?

            • Pete

              Good growth could be measured in increase in the Human Development Index, coupled with a decrease in the Gini Coefficient. Or simply the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index.

              At present, policy settings favour the concentration of wealth into the hands of a few, so until that is addressed, good growth will be limited.

              • muzza

                At present, policy settings favour the concentration of wealth into the hands of a few, so until that is addressed, good growth will be limited.

                That’s the interesting part of the discussion, the one which will be driven by the engagement of people into their political/economic reality, but thats not what enough people want. They want the lie, they love the lie, their life depends on the lie!

                The lie they love, is locking in the outcomes, nice and tight!

                CV – Indeed, then where…

                Edit: Lanth, correct, the exporting of deflation , essentially by China, has created stored up consequences, which we are seeing the clumsey attempts to sweep under the mat!

                • McFlock

                  I’m slightly more optimistic – the whimsy of the electorate is in swings and roundabouts. Basically, they love “the lie” when it seems to work for them, but they take a while to change their mind and flip back again.

                  Lab5 dropped the ball because it got gunshy with the “lightbulb” fiasco. So it tweaked things enough to improve people’s lives a good bit, but there was no gamechanger for when the peoples’ memory dimmed about how evil nats actually are. I know of at least one colleague at the time who voted from lab to nat because “it was national’s turn”. FFS.

                  Lab6 will do the same, but I think mana and the greens are smart enough to go for significant concessions in term one rather than the gradual change myth. I also know they’ll have a shitload more leverage than during lab5.

                  China’s interesting. I have some doubts about their stability in the next few decades. Not a certainty, but they have some fascinating urban/rural, rich/poor, and local/federal government issues.

          • Colonial Viper

            Growth per capita is almost at an end in OECD countries IMO. And we can see that much of the last decades “growth” in developed countries was actually predicated on an unsustainable debt bubble which we are now paying for. However, real growth may continue to occur in India and China for the time being.

            • Lanthanide

              I agree with you and Pete, CV.

              My boyfriend and I have made the observation that the low rates of inflation throughout the world since the 80s owes a lot to China for outsourcing all of our low-paid jobs, allowing us to still have cheap products made. Wages in China are now starting to rise to a level where manufacturers are considering going to other 3rd world countries, such as Laos and North Korea to keep costs down.

              In essence, the low levels of global inflation of the last couple of decades seems to simply have been deferred to the future, for when we can’t kick the can any further down the road of outsourcing production to cheap countries.

    • PlanetOrphan 4.2

      Also …

      “The Government’s operating surplus in fiscal 2002/03 continues to track higher, Treasury figures released today show.

      The operating surplus for the 10 months to April 30 was $3.258 billion, some $410 million above the track forecast on budget night in May.”


      And it aint the GFC it was the SCF that National did not oversee properly.

    • PolishPride 4.3

      Not sure why people are still under the belief that Labour and the left can solve the problems facing society…. They haven’t been able to for the last 100 or so years..
      In order to solve the problem you must first understand what the problem is and it is pretty clear that none of the political parties nor economists do.

    • tc 4.4


    • Herodotus 4.5

      Tell that to the population your misguided view of the past. We borrowed because we are unable to either:
      Increase nz wealth to match our spending and pay off past debt.
      Reduce our living std
      Unless you were one of those who the govt allowed to participate in the property speculation then your untaxed wealth it was a good time, pity about the social consequences
      Why are so many here willing to continue the mis truths of the last 13 years?
      Even Anthony’s link to a past post http://thestandard.org.nz/how-we-got-where-we-are/ has not a link to show any debt being paid off under labour. If this did happen why is no one able to supply any details. Sure we see all the time net debt graphs http://thestandard.org.nz/nz-economic-forecast-deteriorating/ as frank macskasy comments on but this does not show debt being paid off.
      And let’s not talk about the current account http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/keygraphs/Fig6.html. So how good was it for everyone. Record house price increases, mortgages over 10%, and unheralded of borrowing to pay the bills. At least all but 150k had jobs back then.

  5. infused 5

    “In a global context we are “low risk”, thanks to the good position that the last Labour government left us”

    lol shit, April 1st already?

  6. geoff 6

    2017 is just another figure pulled out of thin air so that the general public doesn’t completely despair.
    There’s no end of stagnation in sight (just look at Japan since the 90’s) as long as they keep printing cheap money for the rent-seeking 1%ers.
    Interestingly, governments have been buying gold for the last few years and returning their holdings back to their national vaults. Supposedly this is a hedge against potential fiat currency collapse, something that has a degree of plausability when many nations bond prices are at historics highs (see UK at 300 year bond high).

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Do you happen to know what the CDS spreads on UK debt is looking like?

      • geoff 6.1.1

        Nope. I presume they aren’t indicating imminent UK government default (if that is what you are hinting at) because bank of england can always print more money.

  7. The international credit ratings agencies are a load of bunkem, which along with travesties that the Nat party require us to swallow, we seem to have to “go along” with despite the deficiency in veracity.

    Its true and relevant because they say it is, not because it is.

    How about our international and national governing bodies address this issue*:

    “This offshore economy is large enough to have a major impact on estimates of inequality of wealth and income; on estimates of national income and debt ratios; and – most importantly – to have very significant negative impacts on the domestic tax bases of ‘source’ countries,” Henry says.

    (I have reshared this link that I got off another on the Standard recently, due to the importance of the information contained.)

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    The entire economic system is dependent on oil. Extraction of conventional oil peaked over 2005 to 2008, and is in precipitous decline in most parts of the world. Hence most of the developed world is in economic decline. So-called unconventional oil, which has a very poor EROEI, is propping things up to some extent for the moment but will soon fail to do so.

    We go over the same ground time and time again and nothing sinks in.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8.1

      Lucky for you it doesn’t. You would then have to change your name to Everyoneknowsthetruth. And would undoubtedly feel less special as a result.

      • Afewknowthetruth 8.1.1

        All truth passes through three stages.

        First it is ignored or ridiculed.

        Second it is violently opposed.

        Third it is accepted as being self-evident.

        Schopenhauer (1788-1860).

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          Yes. But you don’t know it is the truth until the third stage.

          I once told everyone that I would become a ukulele virtuoso who would change the world through the beauty and skill of my playing.

          First, I was ignored or ridiculed.

          Second, I was violently opposed (mainly be people who found my practicing unpleasant to the ear).

          Third, it turned out my detractors were entirely correct. I am just shit at playing the ukulele.

          • Afewknowthetruth

            When Galileo looked at Jupiter through his telescope and saw it had moons he didn’t have to wait for everyone else to accept the fact to know he was right in proclaiming that Jupiter has moons. Saying that the Earth was not the centre of the universe upset the authorities, especially the church of course, and resulted in house arrest.

            Semmelweis didn’t have to wait for everyone to agree to know that improved hygiene resulted in fewer infections. He was ridiculed and ignored for promoting the modern ideas about germs, and those who ignored and ridiculed him caused unnecessary suffering and death.

            It’s the same when it comes to energy and environmental issues. Those who ridicule and ignore the ones who do know what they a re talking about will cause unnecessary suffering and death……hopefully their own.

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