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Manufactured exports shrink further

25 September 2012

Manufactured exports shrink further

Manufactured exports continue their free-fall, evidence of the simplification of New Zealand’s export economy under National’s high dollar strategy, the Green Party said today.

Statistics New Zealand Overseas Merchandise Trade figures for August show annual manufacturing exports values down 8.6 percent over the year, and down 20.9 percent, in real terms, since National took office. Manufactured exports for the year to August were $10.9 billion, compared to $12.0 billion for the 2012 August year.

“Manufactured exports fell by a billion dollars in the past year. Since National took office, manufactured exports are down by over 20 percent in real terms,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“Our manufacturing export sector is in real trouble. The National Government is not fighting for manufacturers.

“The good news story for exports this quarter was driven primarily by increased exports of logs and wood. The simplification of our export strategy is concerning. A growing reliance on one or two commodity exports will make our economy more vulnerable to commodity price swings and adverse events like droughts and storms.

“National is not building a strong, resilient export sector.

“Bill English promised to rebalance the economy towards the tradable productive sector, but these numbers show he is failing.”

Earlier this week, the Productivity Commission raised serious concerns about New Zealand’s poor productivity performance relative to the OECD. Our low productivity means we work longer hours and produce less value resulting in lower incomes and quality of life.

“The National Government are repeating the mistakes of previous governments. They are failing to reverse the decline in productivity by investing more in research and development,” said Dr Norman.

“Innovation is a key driver of prosperity in advanced economies, yet this current government has relied on an economic strategy of simply doing more: producing more milk solids, mining more minerals, securing more overseas visitors, and working longer hours.

“This is not a smart green pathway towards a more prosperous economy.

“Manufacturing can thrive again in a smart green economy, but it's going to need a Government that recognises the challenges manufacturers face and works together with them to deliver policy that will help,” Dr Norman said.

Link to Statistics New Zealand Overseas Merchandise Trade figures:

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