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Strong bounce-back in confidence welcome

24 January 2001 Media Statement

Strong bounce-back in confidence welcome - Cullen

"The latest NZIER survey showing a strong bounce-back in business confidence is in line with other surveys and points to good economic growth this year," Finance Minister Michael Cullen said.

"The turnaround is dramatic - from net 45 percent negative to net 31 percent positive in just three months. This is a huge improvement which, although obviously welcome from the Government's perspective, demonstrates just how volatile business sentiment is in New Zealand."

Dr Cullen said that most of the factors which drove business confidence were outside the Government's control but that the Government would do what it could to sustain and protect the current high levels of optimism.

"We established a good dialogue with the business sector last year and plan to build on that this year, beginning with a second Business-Government Forum in Christchurch next month.

"We are also moving actively to increase investment in R&D, lower business compliance costs, encourage better use of e-commerce, expand the skills base of the workforce and open new export markets.

"All of these initiatives will be good for business and good for the economy," Dr Cullen said.

ENDS

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