Slower growth tipped

Bay of Plenty Times - - BUSINESS -

New Zealand’s econ­omy will likely grow at a slower pace than Trea­sury is fore­cast­ing due to weak busi­ness con­fi­dence and de­clin­ing con­sumer con­fi­dence, ac­cord­ing to Fitch So­lu­tions Macro Re­search. It noted busi­ness con­fi­dence re­mains on a down­ward trend with a fig­ure of neg­a­tive 37.1 points in Novem­ber, down from pos­i­tive 24.8 in June 2017. Con­sumer con­fi­dence has also fallen to 115.4 points in Oc­to­ber from a peak of 128 in March last year “sug­gest­ing the po­ten­tial for lower con­sumer spend­ing over the short term,” Fitch says. Fitch’s dim­mer view of growth prospects is why it ex­pects the gov­ern­ment’s fis­cal sur­plus will likely shrink to 0.8 per cent of GDP this year and to 1.2 per cent next year from 2.1 per cent in the year ended June 2018.

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