9 Jul 2010

NZ economy predicted to grow by 3% this year

11:23 am on 9 July 2010

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has maintained its forecast that New Zealand's economy will grow by 3% this year and 3.5% the next.

In its latest world economic outlook report, the IMF has increased its global growth forecast from 4.2% to 4.6% this year due to strong growth in Asia.

China's economy is predicted to grow 10.5%, while India's by nearly 9.5% this year.

But the IMF says the US economy will grow by 3.3% and the eurozone by 1%.

The UK's growth for 2011 has been revised downward from 2.5% to 2.1%.

The world economy shrank 0.6% in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis.

Debt concerns

The IMF said European banks in particular were being affected by the concerns about government debt and so were less willing to lend to each other.

It said less credit available to the wider economy could also undermine the recovery.

Although contagion to other regions of the world was likely to be limited, there was a risk that Europe's troubles could have a more substantial impact on global economic growth, it said.

Meanwhile, the Bank of England has left interest rates at a record low of 0.5%, where they have stood for 17 months.

Economists say the bank is walking a tightrope between nervousness over rising inflation and growing disquiet over the impact of last month's austerity budget on the struggling economy.

The European Central Bank also left eurozone rates on hold at an all-time low of 1%.