10 Aug 2012

NZ and Australia escape worst of financial crisis

6:58 am on 10 August 2012

The Reserve Bank says New Zealand and Australia have escaped the worst of the global financial crisis, but small open economies are wearing some of the cost of easy money policies by other central banks.

In a speech in Australia, Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard said that major central banks which lowered interest rates, whether by quantitative easing or other tools, have promoted capital flows that have boosted the currencies of other countries like New Zealand.

Dr Bollard says that's caused problems.

Exporters have long complained the high New Zealand dollar has made them uncompetitive.

The Reserve Bank has also previously said the strong kiwi has hampered the much needed rebalancing of the economy away from housing and consumption toward exporting.

Dr Bollard will step down after a decade in the role in late September, to be replaced by former World Bank official Graeme Wheeler.