Balance Of Trade Data Sounds Warning Bells
"The trade deficit figures released yesterday send a clear message to New Zealand's political parties," said Federated Farmers Vice President Tom Lambie.
"The primary sector suffered from extremely adverse climatic events over the past two years, and it will take time to recover. Federated Farmers clearly flagged our concerns and forecasts of the potential outcome of the drought on the economy - to little avail."
"Export capacity for the traditional pastoral sector will take months to improve and it is highly probable that these poor balance of payment figures will continue."
"Once again, the importance of agriculture and farming to the national economy is reinforced. Rural New Zealand needs further reduction in central and local government spending and regulation if it is to perform."
"Farmers are well aware how much effort is needed to bring about growth. They will be looking hard to see a clear message from central and local government politicians that they are prepared to support farmers in their endeavours. Farmers are looking for a continued focus on tight control of the level of spending and regulation, trade liberalisation, and a further commitment to R&D funding."
"These figures must be a wake-up call to central and local government, and suburban New Zealand."