IMF mission to assess New Zealand economy

Article – BusinessDesk

March 4 (BusinessDesk) – The International Monetary Fund is sending a mission to New Zealand to assess the state of the economy, just weeks after the devastating Christchurch earthquake.

IMF mission to assess New Zealand economy

By Pattrick Smellie

March 4 (BusinessDesk) – The International Monetary Fund is sending a mission to New Zealand to assess the state of the economy, just weeks after the devastating Christchurch earthquake.

While the mission was a routine scheduled review, Reuters reports a spokeswoman in Washington, DC, as saying the mission expected to downgrade “slightly” its current forecast of 3% annual economic growth in 2011, because of the 6.3 magnitude quake, which struck heavily in central Christchurch during lunch hour on Feb. 22.

The current death toll from the disaster stands at 163, with some 50 people still missing, as the emergency response turns from rescue of the living to recovery of the dead.

A Treasury spokesman was unable to discuss the mission’s itinerary or intended points of contact, saying the team would have no public profile until after conducting its mission.

The Treasury is currently pulling together new estimates of the likely fiscal and economic impact of the earthquake, for likely public release in coming days.

Prime Minister John Key has put the cost of both last week’s quake and the 7.1 quake last September at as much as $20 billion, of which perhaps three-quarters will be covered by insurance of various kinds.

(BusinessDesk)

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