23 Dec 2008

Confirmation expected of nine month recession

8:56 am on 23 December 2008

GDP figures to be issued on Tuesday are expected to show the New Zealand economy has shrunk for nine consecutive months.

A range of economists think the fall in the Gross Domestic Product is likely to have been about 0.5% for the three months to the end of September.

New Zealand is already in recession: GDP fell by 0.3% and 0.2% in the first two quarters of this year.

The economists' views are generally more pessimistic than Treasury, which forecast no growth.

As a consequence economists expect there will be another drastic cut in the Official Cash Rate, at the end of January - by as much a full percentage point. The OCR is currently 5%.

New Zealand was last in recession in 1997 - 1998 for nine months.