The NZ Initiative’s Oliver Hartwich went for a more structural pick, in productivity growth, which most economists agree is a missing ingredient in New Zealand’s economic story.
Hartwich points to the OECD graph for productivity as expressed by “GDP per hour worked”. New Zealand’s growth path is not flash.
“Not good enough for a country that likes to think of itself as broadly successful,” he says.
“We need to do a lot better to be able to afford the education, health care and general quality of life we aspire to. Wellbeing is just a hollow intention without productivity.”
Hartwich also highlights the rise of negative-yielding debt around the world as a symptom of the worrying imbalances that remain in the global economy.
Economists will also still be keeping an eye on global growth in 2020, particularly commodity prices, news out of China and production indicators like the PMI and Global IP (industrial production).
Kiwibank’s Kerr says: “We’re an island on the edge of the Earth with a huge reliance on global trade and finance. In a world grappling with trade wars and threats of Brexit, indicators of global production are important. Global growth forecasts have been ratcheted down all year. Recent indicators suggest a solid improvement into 2020. Global IP data will give us a good guide on the sustainability of the recent improvement.”