Prime Minister John Key will meet representatives from the 'big four' Australian banks across the Tasman this week to discuss the outlook for the Australian economy, and where they think interest rates there might be headed.
Key will also meet with other Australian business leaders from the mining and energy sectors. As well as meeting with ANZ, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank, which own ANZ National, Westpac, ASB and BNZ here, Key will meet representatives from the Business Council of Australia, Origin Energy, Rio Tinto and BlueScope Steel.
Speaking to media at his regular post-Cabinet press conference on Monday, Key said the two-day trip to Sydney and Melbourne later this week would "provide a valuable opportunity to share thoughts on the latest global economic developments and their impacts on the New Zealand and Australian economies."
“Australia’s our largest trading and economic partner so it’s important that we continue to work closely together on issues that affect both of our countries," Key said.
“I just want to get a bit of a sense about what they are thinking about the Australian economy," he said about his discussions with the banks.
“We hear alot of mixed things. Some people are now saying it’s a three-speed economy in Australia – it’s not just the mining sector and everybody else; it’s literally iron ore and uranium, then the other parts of the mining economy, then everything else," Key said.
“So I’m just trying to get a bit of a sense of what they’re thinking. Obviously some of them are predicting a reasonable number of interest rate cuts in Australia," he said.
"They’re just such a huge market from our point of view.”