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Are We For A Growth-Led Economy Or Not?

29 July 2004

Are We For A Growth-Led Economy Or Not – Can Someone Please Make A Decision?

With annual growth having reached 3.5% - but still well below the level needed to get living standards closer to Australia and other countries we like to compare ourselves with – it seems ludicrous that we should accept that the Reserve Bank should lift interest rates.

“Surely, if we are serious about closing the gap in living standards with neighbour Australia, we should be finding ways to encourage growth to get above the 4% target the Government mentioned some years ago we need to achieve and sustain for 10 years,” said Michael Barnett, Chief Executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Barnett reminded decision-makers that the business community overwhelmingly wants to support increased growth. “We have a major skills shortage and unemployment is at its lowest levels since the 1980s. This proves that businesses at least have an appetite for growth.”

“The skills shortage is not helping growth-led businesses stretch their targets and increase productivity, and neither will a further round of interest rate increases,” said Mr Barnett.


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