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Productivity figures welcomed

Media release

28 March 2006

Productivity figures welcomed

Business NZ today welcomed productivity figures released by Statistics NZ.

Business NZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said there was a pressing need for improved productivity to boost economic growth and the new productivity statistics series undertaken by Statistics NZ would help monitor the trends.

“What the official measure shows is that New Zealand labour productivity - at an average annual growth rate of 2.6% since 1988 - is slightly higher than Australia’s and roughly consistent with that of other developed countries.

“This is an encouraging statistic, but is offset by poor average annual growth in capital productivity, at 0.3% over the same period.

“It shows employers less inclined to invest in technology than in employees - however investment is needed in both areas for our economy to be competitive with other developed countries.

”Ways to encourage more investment in technology would include a lower tax regime, a more certain and less intrusive regulatory environment and more attention to technology education.”

ENDS

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