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NZ in ‘GDP per person recession’ under Labour

Paul Goldsmith - Finance

19 December 2019

GDP figures released today show New Zealand went into a ‘GDP per person recession’ in the first half of this year, and continue to show an economy that is failing to deliver higher living standards for New Zealanders, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“GDP per person growth is the best indicator of increased living standards.

“Revisions to old GDP data show that in the first two quarters of 2019, New Zealand was in a ‘GDP per person recession’. That is a shocking reflection of Labour’s economic management.

“The New Zealand economy has had a real fall from grace in the past two years. Under National, GDP per person growth averaged 1.8 per cent during our last five years.

“Predictably, Grant Robertson will boast that New Zealand’s headline GDP growth rate of 2.3 per cent is satisfactory relative to other countries.

“Firstly, that is well below the 3 to 4 per cent growth he inherited. And secondly, what he will refuse to admit is that on a per person basis New Zealand is well off the pace. We are behind the US, the EU, Japan and the vast majority of OECD countries.

“Meanwhile productivity, which is what really matters, continues to stagnate.

“National managed to combine a growing population with increasing incomes per person. The current Government, by contrast, is relying almost entirely on population growth to drive the economy.

“The Government has shown it is an incompetent economic manager. Not only has it dragged New Zealand into a per person recession, it has also dragged this country back into deficit after inheriting surpluses as far as the eye can see.

“If National is elected in 2020 we will restore confidence and revive the economy by reducing taxes, encouraging the flow of investment, removing unnecessary regulations and increasing the flexibility in our labour markets.”


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