New Zealanders have turned pessimistic about the economy and are less confident about their own prospects in the face of the Government’s propensity to drive up living costs, National’s Economic and Regional Development spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“For the first time since at least 2009, more people expect bad times for the New Zealand economy over the next 12 months. The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index also shows an increase in the number who expect to be financially worse off in a year’s time.

“At a time when we should be booming, because of high terms of trade, government-introduced uncertainty has undermined confidence. The number of Kiwis who expect we’ll have continuous good times over the next five years is also in retreat.

“This survey is only the latest to show gloom is spreading through the economy as businesses and consumers cope with rising costs like petrol after the Government raised taxes on pump prices already at a record high.

“Business confidence has hit 10-year lows and is in a prolonged slump, indicating firms expect profits to fall and have less appetite to invest and hire more workers. That feeds into our communities, where people are being forced to stretch their household budget further.

“New Zealand needs sensible, consistent economic policies that encourage businesses to grow and allow ordinary Kiwis to get ahead. Instead, we have a Government that appears determined to take New Zealand backwards.”

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