English predicts next recession

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Watch out for the next recession in 2018.

That’s the tip from Finance Minister Bill English, delivered today to about 200 people attending a Queenstown Chamber of Commerce-organised luncheon at the Skyline Restaurant. 

Given past recessions had occurred in 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2008, English suggested you’d be brave to wager against the next one not coming along in 2018. 

“Hold me to that when I’m in a wheelchair,” he says. 

Among other predictions, he said credit will never be “as easy and cheap as it has been for the last 15 years”, and interest rates, which are at their lowest in 40 years, are bound to rise. 

Last month’s Budget, English says, was all about trying to tilt the economy more in favour of the country’s earning rather than spending capacity. In 10 years, there’d effectively been no net increase in the number of people
employed in the export sector: “That’s not good enough for a great little export country.” 

English, who’s also the local MP, noted Queenstown benefits more than anywhere else in the country from Australia being the world’s fastest-growing economy, because of tourism. 

In per capita earnings, the next country above New Zealand was financially-troubled Greece: “I think we will jump that one.”