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Economic Outlook Bright if Managed Well

“The economic outlook for New Zealand is positive, provided we continue to implement policy which assists rather than hinders economic growth", according to New Zealand Employers’ Federation Chief Executive, Steve Marshall.

Mr. Marshall was responding to the Government’s Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released earlier today, which reported that economic growth is projected to average around 3% for the next 3 years.

“While the outlook for economic and employment growth is positive, there is no room for fiscal slippage. Although the opening of the books shows that the country reasonably successfully negotiated its way through the Asian crisis and droughts over the last two years, the onus is on future governments not to throw away the gains achieved through a sound set of macro and micro-economic policies advanced over the last decade.

“The outlook for the labour market is positive with forecast employment growth of over 1% for the year to March 2000, and over 2% for the following two years. As a result, unemployment is projected to continue trending down to 5.7% by 2001.

“While some may feel a degree of comfort from these forecasts, it is important to note that the reasonably positive forecasts are dependent on government maintaining a stable policy framework in which businesses can feel confident about the returns achieved from investing in New Zealand.

“Any return to the spend and tax policies of past decades, and proposals by some parties to raise costs on the business sector, will stop the recovery in its tracks. It is beholden on future governments to build on the reforms achieved over the last 15 years”, Mr Marshall concluded.


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