Our overseas debt burden continues to grow quickly

Our overseas debt burden continues to grow quickly
overseas debt of New ZealandFigures released by the Reserve Bank on Christmas Eve show that New Zealand's total overseas debt grew by $10 billion from June to September, and grew by $23.5 billion in the year to September 2008, the latest period for which data has been released. All of this increase was by the private sector - from debt raisings by banks and corporates. New Zealand now owes foreign creditors 130.9% of our annual GDP. The last time this debt was below 100% of our GDP was in March 2000, although after a surge in 2000/01 it did reduce to 101.9% in March 2004. Since then, it has been rising quickly. New Zealand owes a total of $235 billion to foreign creditors, $17.2 billion by the Government, and $217.8 billion by the private sector. Based on official population data, this overseas debt represents NZ$108,663 for every person in paid employment. Five years ago, that burden was $71,439 - it has grown 52% in those five years.      

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