New Zealand
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New Zealand economy shows resilience: minister

WELLINGTON, July 5 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand economy's resilience has been displayed through strong employment data and low levels of government debt, despite the current economic contractions' impact on the government accounts, a minister said on Wednesday.

This year is difficult for the global economy, marked by slowing growth and prolonged high inflation. New Zealand is not immune to those forces while the North Island weather events have also taken their toll on affected communities, which will flow through to the government's books, said Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

Robertson cited the increasing number of tourists and returning international students and overseas workers to show that New Zealand is well placed despite challenges.

The cooling economy has resulted in lower-than-forecast tax revenue, the minister said.

"The government had already taken steps to respond to the uncertain economic environment by carefully and responsibly managing its spending," he said, adding New Zealand's deficit is smaller than it was at the same time a year ago and the debt levels at 18.9 percent of GDP are among the lowest in the world.

The minister stresses the focus on protecting and supporting Kiwis dealing with the rising costs of living.