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This paper examines the trends in saving in New Zealand. It considers different sources of information about saving and highlights issues with the measurement of saving. Illustrations are provided of the impact of adjusting saving for both the effects of inflation and the inclusion of some items of expenditure, which are typically counted as consumption. The difficulty of drawing clear implications for policy on the basis of our existing knowledge and data on saving and wealth levels in New Zealand is highlighted. An appendix to the paper includes a comprehensive set of data on New Zealand saving and related variables.
The authors would like to thank Maryanne Aynsley, Phil Briggs, Bob Buckle, Steve Cantwell, Jeff Cope, Simon Hay, Brock Jera, Leo Krippner, Brian McCulloch, Adrian Orr, Clive Thorp and Bruce White for valuable comments and useful discussions. The paper has also benefited of comments from participants at a Treasury seminar. Wai Kin Choy made substantial contributions at an early stage of the work on saving. Special thanks are due to Claire Gardiner, Donna Purdue, Carl Schwartz, John Stephenson, Ivan Tuckwell, Bun Ung, Ken Warren and Gert Wehinger for providing/helping us with some of the data.
The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Treasury. The paper is presented not as policy, but with a view to inform and stimulate wider debate.
Table of Contents
- 1 Introduction
- 2 How is saving measured?
- 3 Available measures of saving in New Zealand
- 4 Trends in New Zealand saving rates
- 4.2 Stock measures of saving
- 4.2 Stock measures of saving (continued)
- 5 Comparing New Zealand to other OECD countries
- 5.2 Household saving
- 6 Measurement issues with national accounts saving rates
- 6.2 The difficulty of measuring saving
- 7 Adjusted measures of saving
- 7.2 Augmented measures of saving
- Household saving
- 8 Summary and conclusions
- Appendix A2: Data
- Appendix A3: Inflation adjustment