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Financial News: New Zealand 2019 Budget Lifts Spending

New Zealand 2019 Budget Lifts Spending

05/29/2019 - 23:28:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - New Zealand government plans to raise spending over the forecast period and lowered its economic growth projection.

"In this first Wellbeing Budget our priorities are focused on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand," Finance Minister Grant Robertson said in his budget speech on Thursday.

"The Government has delivered the critical investments needed to help address the long-term challenges facing New Zealand, while remaining in line with our self-imposed Budget Responsibility Rules," Robertson said.

The annual operating allowance in Budget 2019 was raised to NZ$3.8 billion from NZ$2.4 billion. The operating allowance for Budget 2020 has also increased to NZ$3.0 billion from NZ$2.4 billion.

The economy is forecast to grow at 2.6 percent on average over the next five years. Gross domestic product is expected to expand 3.2 percent next year from an estimated 2.1 percent this year. The projection for 2019 was lowered from 2.9 percent.

The budget forecast an operating surplus of NZ$3.5 billion for the year ending June. Government debt is expected to fall to 19.9 percent in 2022.

The unemployment currently at 4.2 percent is set to remain at around 4 percent across the forecast period, he said.

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