Credit ratings agency Moody's gives glowing assessment of New Zealand economy

An international report ranks New Zealand's economic strength as "very high", saying growth remains "robust".

That's despite Statistics NZ last week saying GDP growth in the year to June was 2.1 percent, the lowest since 2013. Quarterly growth also dropped from 0.6 to 0.5 percent.

Credit ratings agency Moody's latest report says New Zealand's fiscal strength is "very high". Finance Minister Grant Robertson said in a statement that the rest of the world was recognising New Zealand's economic strength.

"We know that there'll always be some people who look at the economy with a glass half empty view."

He said the report was "refreshing".

"There is no doubt the global economic headwinds, as seen through issues like the US-China trade war, and Brexit, will have some impact on our economy.

"But we are well-positioned."

The report says it's expected New Zealand's economy will grow between 2.5 and 3 percent in the next few years.

"Unemployment is at an 11-year low, the economy is growing faster than the likes of Australia, the UK and the EU," Robertson said.

National Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith said New Zealand should be doing better.

"Growth per person, which is the best measure of progress, is mediocre."

Economist Cameron Bagrie told The AM Show on Monday New Zealand was seeing "lukewarm" growth, adding it was "okay".

"A couple of years ago we were strong. We're still moving along at a reasonable clip, but 2 percent GDP growth is nothing to set the world on fire.

"The global slowdown we've seen - do I think we're seeing that in the GDP figures yet? The short answer is no."

Meanwhile the economist who coined the term "rockstar economy" said New Zealand's financial system has lost its "mojo", blaming global headwinds as well as Government policy uncertainty.

"New Zealand was a rockstar economy in 2014, actually right through to 2016. If you look at the numbers over that three-year period, growth ran at 3.7 percent. That is pretty good, that is well above trend.

"But since then, things have slowed down - we are sort of thinking the rockstar term might have run its course. You seem to have lost your mojo," HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham told The AM Show on Friday.


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