According to one media source*, New Zealand’s Department of Labour is now predicting a drop in the country's unemployment rate to 4.8% by March 2014. (It currently stands at 6.3%).
This forecast comes at the same time as a new HSBC Report predicting that New Zealand will be the top performer in the developed world by 2050 with annual GDP growth of 2.9%. This outstrips predictions for GDP growth of other developed countries including Australia at 2.6%, Canada 2.5%, Luxembourg 2.5% and Switzerland 2.3%.
New Zealand is also expected to have an average growth rate of 3.1% over the next four decades, making it the only developed country to be labelled a "growth" country - those with anticipated annual growth of between 3-5% between now and 2050. The remainder of the developed world is instead given a "stable" outlook in the report.
HSBC New Zealand Chief Economist Paul Bloxham says New Zealand's population growth, investment in education, tools and technology will help propel the country to stronger growth. "In comparison, many of the other developed world countries are instead faced with increasing debt problems, a falling taxpayer base and weak demographics - all of which will limit their growth," Bloxham said.
The report finds that New Zealand’s top five trading partners all fall within the top 20 countries in 2050 - including Australia at 18th, China 1st, USA 2nd, Japan 4th and South Korea 13th - highlighting the opportunities that trading with these countries could provide.
"With the growth of the middle classes in emerging markets set to explode, at the same time the demand for commodities will also rocket suggesting that New Zealand is well placed to take advantage of the growth in the world's fastest growing markets of Asia and Latin America," Bloxham said.
Sources: Newstalk ZB 13 Feb 2012 / The World in 2050 (HSBC)