Economic Report December 2023 | Mirage News

Welcome to the Christmas edition of the Economic Bulletin. In this edition, we unpack the new government’s „mini budget”, delivered alongside the Treasury’s half-yearly economic and fiscal update (HYEFU). The finance minister called for „more transparent and responsible financial management”, but the new government’s mini-budget seems to have given us the opposite.

We also discuss the new government’s decision to scrap the RBI’s employment mandate. Contrary to the government’s claims, we show that there is no evidence to suggest that the jobs mandate has contributed to the high rates of inflation we have experienced in recent years, or that getting rid of it would not lower the cost of living. This is an example of bad policy based on 1990s ideology, not evidence.

In our regular updates, we examine the latest GDP, retail spending and balance of payments data and update our Minimum Wage-Household Index. We also look at food and rent inflation, immigration and consumer confidence figures. For the latest employment, wages and consumer inflation statistics, please see October/November Bulletin.

The new government’s first steps reveal its priorities. In repealing the Fair Wage Agreements Act, the new government is ensuring that low-wage sectors of the New Zealand economy remain low-wage sectors. By extending 90-day checks to businesses of all sizes, it undermines workers’ job security. By cutting funding for public services, it eliminates thousands of good jobs that provide essential services. In 2024, we will continue to use the Bulletin to examine the effects of the new Government’s policies and chart an alternative path to a New Zealand economy that puts workers first.

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