Wellington (AFP) May 10, 2011
New Zealand is set to post its worst-ever deficit this year, as the country faces a mammoth bill from two major earthquakes in Christchurch, Finance Minister Bill English said Tuesday.
Speaking after the IMF estimated the Christchurch tremors would have a greater impact on New Zealand's economy than the recent Japanese disaster on Tokyo's finances, English said the country had to cut its debt burden.
He said the government's operating deficit for the 12 months to June 30 would be up to NZ$17.0 billion ($13.5 billion), almost doubling the NZ$9.0 billion recorded in the year to mid-2010.
"It will be somewhere around NZ$16.0 billion to NZ$17.0 billion, which will be the largest deficit New Zealand's had," English told reporters.
The deficit includes earthquake rebuilding costs, which the IMF estimates will reach NZ$15 billion and account for 7.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
English said New Zealand's annual budget on May 19 would "set a credible path back to budget surplus", although he refused to specify when the government aimed to be back in the black.
He said New Zealand, which has a population of about 4.4 million, was effectively borrowing NZ$300 million in new debt a week and the figure needed to be brought down to help pay for earthquake recovery.
"It's essential the government gets its own finances in order as quickly as possible, so it can join households and businesses in lifting national savings and reducing New Zealand's vulnerability to foreign lenders," he said.
New Zealand's second largest city Christchurch was devastated by a 6.3-magnitude quake in February, which claimed 181 lives and followed a more powerful but less destructive 7.0 quake in September.
The IMF on Monday estimated the quakes would have a greater impact on New Zealand, relative to GDP, than Japan's 1995 Kobe quake and Chile's huge quake last year.
It also predicted the burden on New Zealand's economy was set to be proportionally higher than the March 11 earthquake and tsunami on Japan.
"While the scale of damage from the recent Japan earthquake is still uncertain, it is likely to be less than the Canterbury earthquakes as a percent of GDP," IMF economists said.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes
NZealand quake cost heavier than Japan's: IMF
Washington (AFP) May 9, 2011
The earthquakes that struck New Zealand in September and February will eat up about 7.5 percent its GDP, more than the cost of the recent disaster in Japan on Tokyo's economy, the IMF said Monday. The International Monetary Fund estimated that rebuilding after the Christchurch quakes will cost about 15 billion New Zealand dollars ($11.9 billion), a heavier burden on the national economy than ... read more
Japan nuclear evacuees make brief trip home|
Japan's Kan declines PM's pay over nuclear crisis
China claims 'victory' in rebuilding quake zone
No country immune, UN chief warns as disaster risks grow
Bats lend an ear to sonar engineering
Researchers get new view of how water and sulfur dioxide mix
Russia says fire put out near radioactive facility
More effective and less risky when you paint the hull of your boat
Laos agrees to new study on Mekong dam
Green roofs as a cost-effective way to keep water out of sewers
Massive hydroelectric project gets green light in Chile
Tree rings tell a 1,100-year history of El Nino
Stricken Russian nuclear icebreaker due at port: official
Nuclear leak forces Russian icebreaker back to port
Arctic warming could raise oceans 5 feet
Record Arctic warming to boost sea level rise
Availability of Local Food Key to Improving Food Security
Soils of U.K., Europe drying out
Indonesia turns ASEAN focus to food, energy security
US farmers dodge the impacts of global warming at least for now
Tropical storm Aere kills 15 in Philippines
Life pauses on rumbling Philippine volcano
Floods along mighty Mississippi swamp farms, homes
Bolivia at risk of megaquake: study
Burkina Faso ruling party says opposition aiming for coup
Chinese army gives rocket launchers, weapons to Sierra Leone
Disaster-hit Japan will not cut aid to Africa: spokesman
Diehard pro-Gbagbo militia begin to disarm
Indian brides told to put down their mobile phones
Super-healing researcher follows intuition
No nuts for 'Nutcracker Man'
Why the eye is better than a camera at capturing contrast and faint detail simultaneously
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|