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Budget 2016 Home Page Budget Economic and Fiscal Update 2016

Risks and Scenarios


  • This chapter outlines the chief economic and fiscal risks associated with the main forecast. The first part of the chapter outlines the key risks to the economic outlook. The second part of the chapter presents two alternative scenarios for the economy, and the remainder focuses on general fiscal risks. Overall, risks are skewed to the downside, as negative risks to the global economy outweigh domestic risks which are more balanced.
  • Internationally, the risks with the largest potential impact on the New Zealand economy relate to the demand and price for exports and low global inflation. These risks include a sharp slowing of growth in China and its impact on other economies, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. In advanced economies, such as the US, further moderation of growth and persistently low inflation carry substantial risk to the outlook. Overall, slower growth increases the vulnerability of the global economy to negative shocks as it reduces the scope for monetary and fiscal policy to respond. In addition, the international economy faces other risks, including the UK’s European Union membership referendum and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
  • Domestically, the risks with the largest potential impact on the New Zealand economy relate to downside risks around inflation dynamics in the face of the low global inflation environment and the recent decline in inflation expectations, and upside risks around a higher peak and/or prolonged migration cycle and stronger house price growth.
  • Two scenarios are presented that show ways in which the New Zealand economy could deviate from the main forecast. Scenario One is based on a weaker world economy in which trading partner growth slows sharply, global inflation is weaker, services exports fall and the terms of trade take longer to recover. In this scenario, nominal GDP, tax revenue and OBEGAL are lower. Scenario Two is based on sustained momentum in the domestic economy with stronger net migration into New Zealand, faster house price growth, higher private consumption, higher employment growth and stronger inflation. This scenario lifts nominal GDP, tax revenue and OBEGAL over the forecast period.
  • In addition to the risks associated with the economy, the Crown is also subject to expenditure and balance sheet risks. In particular, volatility in financial asset prices and interest rates can have a significant impact on the Crown's fiscal position.
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