NZ Herald business editor at large

Trumpled: why it's bad news for NZ if he wins

A Donald Trump win in next week's US presidential election would be bad news for the New Zealand economy, say ASB economists in their quarterly outlook released this morning.

A Trump win is "wild card" risk in what is an otherwise strong outlook for the economy according to the report titled: "NZ economic momentum could get Trumpled on"

While polls strongly a favour a Hillary Clinton win on November 8 markets are on edge after the shock Brexit result in the UK earlier this year.

The re-emergence of the Clinton email scandal - which has seen the FBI re-open its investigation - further spooked investors late on Friday in the US.

After advancing through the morning Wall Street stocks reversed sharply on the news and the Dow Jones, S&P500 and Nasdaq indexes all closed in the red.

"Clinton is clearly priced to win, and anything that disrupts the market's predictions will have an adverse reaction," trader Michael Antonelli, of Robert W.

Baird & Co, told Bloomberg News.

"The market has to re-price for a new level of uncertainty."

While the unexpected brexit result caused a short but sharp global share sell-off the impact was short lived and not material to New Zealand.

But the NZX-50 has been under greater pressure in recent weeks, falling nearly 10 per cent from its record peak in September.

A Trump win could also have much wider implications for New Zealand the ASB economics team concludes in its report.

Trump's anti-free trade policies could cause serious longer term for export led growth.

"There would likely be a lot more trade tension, particularly with China, and a shift in the geopolitical balance if the US turned inward, " the report says.

"NZ's economic prosperity is based on trade, and any trade wars would hamper that - particularly if our biggest trading partners were impacted."

Another unexpected side effect could involve a sharp slump in the kiwi dollar.

"Donald Trump's fiscal policies are likely to be inflationary, meaning an earlier return of higher interest rates and a strengthening USD," ASB says.

While that might seem like a plus in the short term, anything that forces the Federal Reserve to act aggressively and unpredictably will have a de stabilising effect on our economy.

The US election, the pace of rate hikes from the US Federal Reserve, Brexit developments and China's economic slowdown, remain the key risks for the economy, the report says.

Outside of those risks ASB says the outlook remains very strong for New Zealand and may mean we are reaching the end of the cycle for Reserve Bank rate cuts.

"NZ economic growth is chugging along nicely. NZ has the strongest growth rate in the OECD at present. Over the past year, quarterly GDP growth averaged 0.9% - which is very good, even on a per-capita basis. We see the NZ economy continuing to grow upwards of 3.5%.

"With economic growth going from strength to strength, interest rates have likely bottomed out.

- NZ Herald

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