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Strong economy 'encouraging'

Strong economy 'encouraging'

Alliance leader and Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton says strong economic indicators are encouraging.

After strong GDP growth figures were released by Statistics NZ yesterday, the Morgan and Banks job index today shows employers are experiencing record levels of optimism about employment growth.

More than 40% of 1200 employers surveyed plan to increase permanent staff. The net optimism in the survey is the highest recorded since the survey began.

Jim Anderton says increasing prosperity helps to make it possible to lift the living and working conditions of all New Zealanders.

"We need strong job growth to lift the incomes of New Zealanders, move more people back into the workforce, and lift the working conditions of ordinary New Zealanders.

"Those commentators who said we had to put things on hold because the economy was flat should now be accepting that we can make progress because the indicators are strong for both the economy and job growth.

"The strong economic phase the economy is entering shows that much recent pessimism was misplaced.

"The strongly positive results certainly bring into question the credibility some of the Government's more vociferous critics. One or two of them shouldn't be taken seriously again," Jim Anderton said.

The Economic Development Minister highlighted optimism in electronics, IT, tourism and engineering.

"Those are the industries that have to perform very strongly for the economic base of New Zealand to be transformed. Higher incomes for New Zealanders are crucially dependent on the development of high-technology, high-skill industries of the future," Jim Anderton said.

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