New Zealanders are paying more for their foreign currency than anyone else in the world, a new report shows.
NZ First has published its own analysis of the figures and revealed it shows that the average Kiwi spends a whopping $2,000 on foreign exchange in 2017.
It’s a hefty figure for a country with only around 8.5 per cent of its economy in the global financial services sector.
“The average Kiwis foreign exchange expenditure is around $2.75 per day,” New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said.
Peters said he was surprised that foreign exchange was so high.
“[It] is the third most expensive foreign currency expenditure, after car and plane tickets, and then accommodation.”
New Zealanders were also paying more than Australians for their currency, he said.
“We’ve been the biggest exporter of foreign exchange overseas, so it’s quite surprising we’re still paying that much for foreign currency.”
Parks and Recreation actor Andrew Fazekas said that while foreign currency was not his first choice, he did not like to think that Kiwis would stop spending it.
He said if the country did decide to start cutting back on foreign currency, it would be a good idea to do so before the economy was already in trouble.
We’re not doing enough to encourage Kiwis to spend, he told the Today programme.
“It’s not the money that’s being spent.
It’s the value of the currency.
If the economy is going to slow down, we have to do something.”
But Kiwis had been buying and selling their currency at a rate higher than anyone.
Foreign currency is the currency of choice for international buyers, with Australians paying around $US400 for a pound of gold, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee also raised its inflation target from 1 per cent to 1.5 percent, as it said it expected to see an increase in consumer spending and investment in the months ahead.