Kiwis’ confidence drops again: Economy needs a boost

Westpac’s consumer confidence survey has fallen for the seventh time in nine quarters, with middle income households ‘increasingly worried about where the economy is heading over the next few years’, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“This survey is a damning indictment of the economy. Confidence is now below the long run average. It’s clear that New Zealanders are not buying National’s line that things are improving. The survey specifically says, ‘the number expecting positive economic conditions in five years’ time has plummeted to the lowest level in 25 years’.

“Right now, a Labour government would be giving the economy a much needed boost by investing in infrastructure and core policy areas such as health, housing and education. In contrast National is content to sit on the sidelines and watch confidence slipping.

“While National likes to highlight overall growth figures, New Zealanders know they aren’t getting the benefits – especially when growth per person is effectively flat, at 0.4 per cent.

“As the report says, ‘for many individual households, the economic environment is likely to feel a lot tougher… those in rural centres have noted much more concern about economic conditions than their cousins in major urban centres’.

“New Zealanders are looking for a government that will support them to get ahead. At the moment they are losing faith that the National Government is on their side.

“Only a change in government will ensure that the economy delivers for those in the middle, not just the fortunate few at the top. Labour will invest in lifting the value of the economy to generate decent work and give all New Zealanders opportunity through quality housing, health and education,” says Grant Robertson.