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Vision blurred on business confidence

Vision blurred on business confidence

The Finance Minister is hiding the true picture of a rapidly slowing economy with his claim that the drop in business confidence is "unsurprising", says National's Finance spokesman, Don Brash.

"Dr Cullen should be paying heed to the advice of Deutsche Bank analysts - which he often does when it suits him - when they warn that today's figures paint an even more gloomy picture of the economy than expected.

"While the survey makes reference to the uncertain implications of factors such as the situation in the Middle East and SARS, these are short-term factors compounding a much greater problem.

"The problem is one of Government policies continuing to severely damage New Zealand's growth prospects. And it is a problem the Government has conveniently ignored while it has foolishly claimed credit for the buoyant economy of the last couple of years.

"Now it must weather the blame.

"For Dr Cullen to brush aside today's survey that shows virtually every indicator in decline proves this Government's total indifference towards New Zealand's wealth-creating sector.

"But what is even more worrying is that while business confidence continues to slump, the Government has nothing in place to shore up our long-term growth performance," says Dr Brash.

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