The Government’s prudent and responsible financial management has been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch, Finance Minister, Grant Robertson said today.
Fitch affirmed New Zealand’s long term foreign and local currency ratings at AA+ with a stable outlook. It follows Moody’s annual credit analysis affirming a stable outlook on New Zealand’s local currency and foreign currency ratings at Aaa.
“This is further endorsement of the Government’s financial and economic management in a difficult and uncertain global environment,” Minister Robertson said.
“Fitch praised the Government’s fiscal policies, saying the rating reflected the Government’s robust governance standards and policy framework and our commitment to return to surplus, and lower debt in the medium term. Our net debt as a percentage of GDP remains lower than many of our international peers.
“The Government has continued to take action to consolidate spending, which Fitch said is expected to drive a sustained decline in the deficit. Our ongoing savings and efficiency exercise has found almost $4 billion in savings over the forecast period to help ease inflation pressures and meet our fiscal rules of returning to surplus over the forecast period and keep debt levels under the limit of 30 percent of GDP.”
He said Fitch noted that the Government’s strong track record of prudent financial management, and that New Zealand’s strong policy institutions and sound macroeconomic framework enhanced the country’s resilience to economic and financial shocks.
The credit rating also reflected Fitch’s long-standing views on the issue of high household debt, he said.
“We are committed to our plan to meet our balanced and responsible fiscal goals, make our economy stronger and more resilient and support New Zealanders with targeted cost of living relief that doesn’t add to inflation pressures,” Mr Robertson said.