Wellbeing Budget 2022

A Secure Future

New Zealand continues to have some of the lowest public debt in the world…

Even at its peak, New Zealand's net debt as a share of GDP remains low compared to many of our international peers.

The IMF publishes an internationally comparable measure of net debt. The IMF's general government net debt indicator shows New Zealand's debt at 21.3 percent of GDP in 2023, compared to 31.6 percent in Canada, 40.7 percent in Australia, 71.3 percent in the UK and 94.9 percent in the US. This illustrates that New Zealand's net debt ceiling is set at a conservatively low level compared to the net debt of our international peers (Figure 15).

Figure 15 - IMF general government net debt in 2023

Figure 15 - IMF general government net debt in 2023

Source: World Economic Outlook Database, April 2022

New Zealand's careful fiscal management and strong position has been recognised by global credit rating agencies. S&P Global Ratings recently reaffirmed New Zealand's domestic AAA rating with stable outlook on account of healthy Government finances and the ability to endure any further economic shocks. Moody's also has a Triple-A domestic currency rating for New Zealand, while Fitch has maintained its AA+ rating through the pandemic.

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