Saturday, April 20, 2024

Latest inflation figures ‘encouraging’ says Finance Minister

Finance Minister, Grant Robertson says latest inflation figures are encouraging news for the nation.

The Minister today announced that annual inflation is at its lowest level since late 2021.

“This is encouraging news with inflation continuing to head in the right direction at the same time Kiwis are in work in record numbers. Inflation is still too high and we are committed to helping bring down the cost of living and supporting those doing it tough.” Minister Robertson said.

Stats NZ reported the Consumer Price Index rose at a slower pace of 1.1% in the March quarter compared with the previous quarter and 6% for the year.

“Quarterly inflation is now at its lowest level in over two years, while New Zealand’s annual rate of 6% is below the OECD average of 6.5%,” the Minister said.

“We know New Zealanders are doing it tough in a period of high inflation and deteriorating global conditions. We’re taking a range of actions to ease the pressure on Kiwi budgets, with cheaper childcare, free prescriptions and half priced public transport for young Kiwis coming into force from July 1. We have also significantly lifted the incomes of seniors, families, workers and students while the Winter Energy Payment will provide cost of living relief for electricity bills.”

Mr Robertsons said the Government was also doing its bit to ease inflation pressures by reducing spending to more normal levels and reduce overall demand in the economy, with real Government consumption forecast to fall by 5% by the beginning of 2025.

“We are seeing some positive signs in these challenging times. The economy is adding jobs, businesses confidence is starting to improve, tourists and international students are returning, overseas workers are filling vacancies and our public debt levels are among the lowest in the ­world to help deal with the challenges ahead.

“Our economic plan and responsible financial management is working to bring down inflation and sustain stable and steady growth. We will continue to strike a balance and support New Zealanders dealing with the cost of living and impact of recent extreme weather while investing to build a stronger, more resilience and inclusive economy,” he said.

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