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Is this as good as it gets?

Bill English National Finance Spokesman

30 March 2001

Is this as good as it gets?

The Government has no reason to feel smug over the 0.5 percent GDP growth figure for the December 2000 quarter, National's Finance spokesman Bill English said today.

"Growth of 0.5 percent is lower than the market expected. If it wasn't for the low dollar and good commodity prices which have benefited our exporters there would have been negative growth in the December quarter.

"The problem is those factors, which the Government has no control over, won't last forever. The world economy is expected to slow with commodity prices expected to weaken. And closer to home farmers and horticultutralists are exposed to the risk of a developing drought.

"The Government has done absolutely nothing to lift the overall performance of the New Zealand economy. So despite strong export growth the overall GDP growth figure is mediocre at best.

"The Government has failed to make the most of international conditions for the benefit of New Zealanders. The 0.5 percent growth figure shows our domestic economy is in the doldrums, and there is a very real risk that export growth will peter out before the improved revenue has a chance to trickle down to normal kiwi families," Bill English said.

Ends

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