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Trade deficit up, up and away

Trade deficit up, up and away

Dr Lockwood Smith

National Trade Spokesperson 6 August 2003Trade deficit up, up and awayNational says today's trade figures showing the biggest June deficit since 1975 prove the economic tailwind driving New Zealand has fizzled out.

"The continuing slide in our export income saw us rack up the worst June trade balance in nearly 30 years," says Dr Lockwood Smith. "Every month for more than a year now, export earnings have been down on the same month in the previous year. In total, New Zealand's earnings dropped a massive $3.1 billion over the 12-month period to June which represents a huge decline in income.

"In its first term, Labour basked in the economic glow of a low dollar, record commodity prices and largely drought-free conditions.

"But with the dollar now up and softening commodity prices, the tailwind has died," says Dr Smith.

"If it wasn't for the significant domestic demand driven by high levels of immigration over the last year, the New Zealand economy would have been hammered much earlier.

"But now the tide has turned and Labour is adding to the economy's woes by choking growth and burdening business with a raft of levies, taxes and red tape. This proves it's bereft of answers in the tough times", says Dr Smith.

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