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Govt exacerbates confidence slide

Warren Kyd National Manufacturing Spokesperson

18 April 2001

Govt exacerbates confidence slide

"While we're experiencing positive exporting times, value and skill added areas are alarmingly pessimistic," National's Manufacturing spokesperson Warren Kyd said today.

Mr Kyd's comments follow the WestpacTrust-Manufacturers Federation survey that showed manufacturing business confidence slumped badly in the March quarter. A net 12 percent of manufacturers expect the general business situation to worsen in the next six months. In contrast, in the December quarter a net 24 percent expected the economy to improve.

"Manufacturers are concerned about the impact on our economy from slower growth in Australia and the United States, and they doubt we have sufficient economic momentum to carry us through any temporary external downturn

"The Government has ridden a wave of higher commodity prices thanks largely to the lower dollar. But in the domestic environment the Government is doing all it can to drag down the economy with discouraging moves such as higher taxes and changes to our labour laws and ACC.

"The Prime Minister talks about an 'economic transformation' which will embrace the knowledge economy and propel New Zealand to the top half of the OECD. But since the election manufacturers have had their competitiveness stifled, with costs and barriers put up thick and fast.

"This lack of confidence is likely to result in the Reserve Bank again lowering interest rates in its Official Cash Rate review tomorrow," Mr Kyd said.

Ends

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