Today’s ANZ business confidence survey shows a net 50 percent of businesses are pessimistic about the economy and sentiment has plummeted even further since the Prime Minister returned to office, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.

“Business confidence has slumped further to levels not seen since the global financial crisis 10 years ago. This time the crisis is of the Government’s own making and the return to duty of the Prime Minister a month ago has only made it worse.

“The Government’s desperate charm offensive can’t conceal policies that are slowing growth, driving up the cost of living, deterring investment and hurting job creation. They’re taxing more only to waste taxpayer money.

“Investment intentions in the ANZ Business Outlook, which ANZ itself says are a very good directional signal for GDP growth, have turned negative and are at the lowest level since 2009.

“ANZ says companies have real concerns about industrial relations policy, minimum wage hikes and rising costs, and their ability to pass on costs and maintain profitability, which stayed negative.

“Confidence worsened in all sectors apart from construction, which is still at negative 50 points. And ANZ says the issues in the construction sector are starting to cause stress in other industries.

“These surveys show more than just sentiment. The intentions of businesses have real impacts on New Zealanders.

“NZIER forecasts this week showed the average New Zealander will be $1600 worse off by 2022 compared to the same forecasts made just three months ago.

“The Government’s economic management is in disarray. The Prime Minister’s words are contradicted by NZ First. Their only strategy is to throw every problem to a working group.

“National believes in sensible, consistent economic policies that encourage businesses to grow. We want New Zealanders to keep more of what they earn. Instead we have a Government that appears determined to take New Zealand backwards.”

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