4 Feb 2014

Japan has contrasting effects on NZ economy

11:23 am on 4 February 2014

Japan's latest effort to jump-start its economy has had contrasting effects on New Zealand, Treasury chief economist Girol Karacaoglu says.

Its so-called "Abenomics" economic plan - named after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe - has sharply pushed up the New Zealand dollar against the yen.

It has been a year since Japan launched its economic plan to rejuvenate its economy after two decades of sluggish growth.

Japan's importance has declined over time but it remains New Zealand's fourth-largest goods export market and fifth-largest tourism market.

Abenomics had meant New Zealand exporters were less competitive - but consumers had enjoyed cheaper cars, Mr Karacaoglu said.

"It has two conflicting effects. On the one hand, it is helping the people who are importing cars. On the other hand it is, of course, hurting the people who are exporting goods to Japan."

It was not clear whether Mr Abe's ambitious economic plan work but, if it did, Japan's revival should help New Zealand's struggling exporters, he said.