DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said.
" Data released over the last week shows that people are losing confidence in the economy on the back of plummeting dairy prices. The failure of the National government to diversify and create new opportunities is adding to the pessimistic environment.
"The Westpac McDermott Miller employment confidence index is just the latest indicator of storm clouds over the New Zealand economy. The index dropped 5.7% in the June quarter, and now sits at the lowest level in two years. A key driver is weakness in earnings growth. The proportion of workers who received a pay increase over the past year is at its lowest since 2010. That number is likely to worsen in the coming year, despite the claims made by John Key and Bill English.
“This comes in the wake of last week's ANZ Job Ads data which saw Auckland as the only main centre experiencing job growth in May. Annual growth in job ads has fallen to 2.6 per cent. On current trends it is forecast to hit zero within months.
" While New Zealand cannot control all the international events that affect us, we can plan and build an economy that is not so reliant on riding commodity price waves. Over six years National has squandered opportunities to add value and diversify.
" Latest export data shows that exports dropped 5 per cent over the last year off the back of a 28 per cent drop in dairy. National promised they would increase exports to 40 per cent of GDP but actually they are going backwards with latest figures showing only 28 per cent.
" Kiwis are not short of ideas or capacity, what they need is leadership to support them to explore new ideas and opportunities. This is sadly lacking from National. Labour believes we must invest in new sustainable industries, in our regions and in our people if we are to keep the standard of living New Zealanders expect and deserve", Grant Robertson said.