The Government needs to get its head out of the sand, with this morning’s GDP figures for the March quarter a disappointing 0.5 per cent, meaning New Zealand’s economic growth is slowing at the same time the world economy is picking up speed, National’s Finance Spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“At 2.7 per cent New Zealand’s economic growth is performing below forecast, and is now at its lowest level since 2014.

“National left the country’s economy in good health following consecutive years of 4 and 3 per cent growth.

“Today’s figures show construction growth, in particular, has fallen off a cliff to 1.4 per cent following a booming 10.7 per cent increase last year.

“GDP per capita actually declined in the March quarter.

“These disappointing GDP figures come on the back of business confidence falling, businesses’ view of their own activity declining, and consumer confidence deteriorating.

“Together, this is a clear warning sign for the Government. Yet so far the Government is showing no concern about slowing growth and plummeting confidence.

“Slowing economic growth translates directly into fewer opportunities and lower incomes for Kiwi families trying to get ahead. Already we’ve seen job growth fall from 10,000 new jobs a month under National to just 4,000 new jobs a month under the new Government.

“Economic growth does not happen by accident, yet this Government takes it for granted.

“Finance Minister Grant Robertson needs to sort out his priorities. Policies like banning oil and gas exploration, strengthening the unions at the expense of workers, cutting foreign investment and taxing more for petrol will do nothing to improve New Zealand’s economic growth at the very time it needs nurturing.

“Denials by the Government that its policies won’t slow economic growth are wearing thin and it’s time it faced facts before it does serious damage to family incomes and jobs.”

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