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“Every reason to be optimistic” in terms of the economy

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasury Secretary Grant Robertson said the government expects inflation to start trending downwards from this quarter, but conceded it “won’t be a quick decline”.

It comes as the New Zealand dollar is struggling to make new lows against other currencies, including the US dollar.

“I think it’s been a really tough 2022 for most New Zealanders and that includes the business community,” Robertson told Breakfast this morning. “Two years of Covid followed by this global inflationary crisis and the pressure on the cost of living and all that, I think we’ve done pretty well as a country.

“I think we are as well positioned as any country in the world for the global environment we are facing, but I understand that companies have had a difficult time and we will continue to work with them.”

He said the government is working to speed up the work visa issuance process to ease the pressure in this area and there is “every reason to be optimistic” that the economic tide is turning and the cost of living notwithstanding going down will be tough lately.

“Most economists agree that inflation in New Zealand will come down gradually… but it won’t be a quick fall to the levels of inflation that people are used to,” Robertson said.

“The world economy is a difficult place at the moment, there are still problems from Europe, obviously with the war in Ukraine, problems in China, so this is a difficult time, but we expect an inflation trend to start from this quarter.

“I’m not going to pretend for a moment that things aren’t going to be difficult in the global economy over the next few years, but I think New Zealand is as well placed as anyone to deal with it.”

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