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Falling New Zealand dollar driving export growth: Finance Minister

WELLINGTON, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's non-dairy exports are expected to see a significant boost in the wake of the fall in value of the country's currency over the past year, Finance Minister Bill English said Thursday.

"What we are witnessing is an adjustment occurring in the engine-room of the economy. Resources and investment will move into industries that are experiencing a progressive improvement in their international competitiveness," English said in a published speech to the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association conference in Christchurch.

Over recent years, the country's goods and services export industries had become much more efficient and the 25 percent downward correction in the value of the New Zealand dollar against the U.S. dollar over the past year would translate into a significant strengthening in the competitiveness of all exporters over time.

The government's most recent public assessment of the economy was that it was expanding at its long-term trend rate of 2.5 percent to 3 percent a year.

Economists expected the pace of annual growth to ease to 2 percent to 2.5 percent as the economy adjusted and adapted to the recent decline in dairy income, said English.

"It is the kind of solid, sustainable growth that will deliver more jobs and rising incomes, while permitting business and mortgage borrowing costs to remain down at around the current, historically low rates," English said.

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