Economy will dominate Key's speech

Economic growth and job creation are expected to dominate Prime Minister John Key's state of the nation speech on Friday.

He isn't giving much away but says he'll outline the issues the government has to contend with and how it intends dealing with them.

"There is an announcement in the speech," he told reporters on Thursday.

"I don't want to over-hype that but there is an announcement - it's economically focused, I'll leave it at that."

Asked whether it was about housing, Mr Key said "no, not directly".

Affordable housing is one of the government's priorities and Nick Smith was brought back into the cabinet mainly to handle it.

Mr Key has previously said the 7.3 per cent unemployment rate in the third quarter of last year - the latest statistic - is unacceptable.

He will make his speech in Auckland on Friday afternoon.

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