The net number of firms expecting economic conditions to deteriorate in the second half of 2018 has doubled according to the latest business opinion survey from NZIER, National’s Finance spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“NZIER has found that pessimism remains across all regions in New Zealand, with Taranaki, Otago and Blenheim particularly downbeat.

“This isn’t surprising. The Government has introduced a range of anti-growth measures, from industrial relations reforms and hiking fuel taxes to shutting down oil and gas and lower investment in our State Highway network, and that’s reflected in plummeting business confidence.

“Those changes are hitting businesses hard, but the real losers here are Kiwi workers – because when businesses aren’t confident they’re not hiring more staff and lifting wage.

“The survey also shows cost pressures have increased sharply for business – particularly those in the retail sector. Unsurprisingly, they’ve responded by raising prices and more plan to do so in the next three months, hitting Kiwi families in the back pocket.

“This is worrying, because changes such as higher fuel taxes, rent increases and higher income taxes are already costing Kiwi families over $100 a week more – and this will just add to that pressure.

“The Government needs to stop dismissing these very real concerns, and start showing it understands. It needs to back businesses and help grow the economy. When businesses are strong we all benefit through greater investment, more jobs and higher incomes.”

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