23 Mar 2010

Latest NZIER survey faintly optimistic

5:54 pm on 23 March 2010

The latest survey of economists is picking a slightly stronger economic recovery over the next few years, boosted by exports.

The Institute of Economic Research's quarterly consensus forecasts estimates the economy will shrink 0.4% in the year to March, before rebounding to grow 3.1% next year, and 3.2% the year after.

That is slightly better than the previous set of forecasts.

But principal economist at the institute, Shamubeel Eaqub, says the figures mask the divergence among economists about the future health of the economy, ranging from a paltry 1.8% to a strong 4.1%.

Mr Eaqub says consumer spending is likely to remain subdued due to lingering high unemployment and a fall in real wages, though exports will benefit from the global recovery.