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Govt has no answers for firms in prolonged slump

Govt has no answers for firms in prolonged slump

The prolonged slump in business confidence shows the Government has no strategy to address their concerns, National’s Economic and Regional Development spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“The ANZ Business Outlook shows confidence has barely budged after falling to its lowest levels in 10 years. Firms remain deeply pessimistic and expect profits to fall. They are holding off on investments and putting a freeze on hiring more workers.

“This is a Government that has repeatedly ignored warning signs that businesses are hurting and after 12 months still has no strategy on how to grow the economy.

“Everything it is doing is making it more difficult for businesses to grow. That means less opportunities and lower standards of living. Firms’ view of their own activity remains 20 points below the long-run average.

“What’s most worrying in this latest survey is that both residential and commercial construction activity have fallen to the lowest levels since 2010.

“The Government has tried to brush aside any signs of falling sentiment among New Zealand businesses despite being one of the biggest sources of uncertainty.

“The ANZ survey follows MYOB’s latest survey, which indicates more than half of New Zealand’s small and medium-sized businesses expect the economy to decline over the next 12 months compared with just 23 per cent prior to the election last year.

“New Zealand businesses need sensible, consistent economic policies that encourage them to grow, invest more and hire more workers. Instead we have a Government that appears determined to take New Zealand backwards.”

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