NZ Media spins the IMF GDP figures in Labour's favor and grossly misleads Kiwis a day before voting
Probably because some reporters receive this Blog, Newshub today picked up on the IMF's latest GDP growth figures. This is how they report it:
"NZ's economy is at 1.1 percent annual GDP growth, which the IMF predicts will drop marginally to 1 percent next year. To see how Aotearoa ranks against other countries for economic growth in 2024, Newshub analyzed GDP growth percentages across 25 different economies & compared them to 2023's figures (with the change in brackets). Macao came out on top with a whopping 27.2 percent GDP growth prediction for 2024, while Equatorial Guinea was at the bottom of the list, estimated to shrink by 5.5 percent. Aotearoa is near the bottom of the annual GDP growth list. However, so are many advanced economies NZ compares itself to including Germany, Japan, Finland and Australia".
What a disgraceful biased piece of junk reporting. First, Australia beats us easily on GDP growth in 2023-24. Second, who "compares" NZ to Germany? Was NZ dependent on Russian gas to run our industrial base, like Germany was, and which Putin turned off, handing them an extraordinary economic shock? Third, the IMF ranked NZ as 180th out of 189 nations, an appalling ranking. There are only 9 nations in the world worse than NZ. There's no reason to justify how Newshub chose their 25 "different economies". On their weird arbitrary list NZ ranks 19th out of 25. Not amazing but not too bad, voters must think. Here's Newshub's bizarrely selected GDP growth table from top to bottom:
Macao; Libya; India; Kenya; Samoa; Ukraine; Nigeria; West Bank-Gaza; South Korea; Switzerland; Chile; Canada; Brazil; US; France; Australia; Japan; Finland; New Zealand; Belgium; Germany; Austria; Italy; UK; Guinea.
Newshub took a tiny subset of 25 countries (representing only 13% of the 189 countries the IMF collected data on) but included on that list nearly all the countries that did worse than NZ (6 out of 9) and yet threw out nearly all the countries placed ahead of us (keeping just 18 out of the 180). Yes, Newshub's list includes most nations worse than us, yet just 10% of the better performing ones. Why not simply report our global ranking of 180th out of 189?
The IMF ranking is proof of how the PM & Finance Minister screwed up, squandering Kiwis' amazing sacrifices & victory over the virus during the 2020-21 Covid lockdowns, to snatch an unnecessary economic defeat for the people. Hipkins wrecked our economy by paying billions to big business (Fletchers grabbed $70 million), by making it illegal for anyone to sell food other than the supermarket duopoly during those times, by throwing cash at the big banks through schemes like funding-for-lending, printing money, worsening inequality, entrenching monopoly powers & creating the cost-of-living crisis. The IMF's economic figures provide the evidence but NZ Big Media won't report it.
Does our Media Establishment have a political agenda? Is it trying to swing the election by not reporting the facts? Is our big media beholden to politicians & business in ways we don't know? Why doesn't Newshub write the headline that when the PM told Mike Hosking two days ago that NZ was growing faster that "every country other than Japan" it was nonsense.
Robert MacCulloch holds the Matthew S. Abel Chair of Macroeconomics at Auckland University. Rob blogs at Down To Earth Kiwi