Westpac: ‘The tide has turned’ on the economy

Westpac has rung alarm bells over the state of the economy, predicting growth will plummet, unemployment surge and the housing market to slow, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“In its quarterly Economic Overview, Westpac warns growth will quickly fall below 2 per cent and unemployment soon reach 6.5 per cent. This is an indictment on National’s economic management.

“Westpac says ‘We expect the economic situation to deteriorate markedly’ due to the dairy farmers’ payout drop and the Christchurch rebuild peaking early.

“These two events were entirely predictable. Economists have warned of the looming global milk glut and the rebuild tapering off for well over a year. It is a damning indictment on National’s over-optimistic economic management that they have done nothing to prepare New Zealand for the coming ‘shock’.

“Westpac also warns that the housing market is set to slow down.

“National’s failure to diversify the economy left an economic stool with only three legs of dairy, the rebuild and housing. All three are now being kicked out from under the Government.

“John Key and Bill English are in denial. It's time they took off the rose-tinted glasses and played it straight with New Zealanders. The economy is stuttering and they need to front up with a plan to get it moving again,” Grant Robertson said.