NZ Fourth Freest Economy

April 14, 2010 New Zealand Taxation

Spaghetti JunctionNew Zealand is the fourth freest economy in the world, according to a newly released global economic freedom index.

The US Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal have recently co-released the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, which ranks nations according to their economic freedom. New Zealand scored 82.1 points on the index, out of a possible 100. The score reflects a 0.1 point rise from the 2009 score, due to a perceived marginal improvement in trade and fiscal freedom. New Zealand was one of only seven nations regarded as “free”, having exceeded a benchmark score of 80 points.

Business Freedom in New Zealand was marked 99.9 out of 100, with the Foundation praising the ease with which a business can be started in New Zealand. New Zealand Property Rights legislations and Freedom from Corruption were also applauded, garnering scores of 95 and 93 respectively. Trade, Monetary, and Investment Freedom were also highly ranked, earning 88.8, 86.0 and 83.1 points. The Heritage Foundation rated New Zealand’s relatively high levels of Government spending as the lowest aspect, awarding only 51.3 points to the category.

Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia were the only nations ranked higher than New Zealand, scoring 89.7, 86.1 and 82.6 points. The UK and US were noted for holding some of the most significant score drops within the index, at -2.5 and -2.7 points respectively.

Photo by Chris Gin