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NZIER’s latest consensus forecasts show yet another decline in New Zealand’s economic outlook, National’s Finance Spokesperson Amy Adams says.

“Economists and analysts have cut their forecasts for economic growth and wages for the next two years, and slashed their estimates for Government surpluses for the next three years. The only things rising are the cost of living and unemployment. It is an ugly combination.

“This is deeply concerning for the New Zealand economy at a time when most of our comparator countries, like the US and Australia, are speeding up.

The Government may quibble about business confidence surveys that don’t suit its spin but the NZIER’s consensus forecasts compile the views of the Reserve Bank, the Treasury, ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank, the NZIER and Westpac.

“Given Grant Robertson is so keen to use the consensus forecasts as evidence of the economy running along smoothly, hopefully these results will be a wake-up call that the Government’s anti-growth policies are hurting the economy.

“The latest manufacturing numbers out this morning have added further downside risk to the next set of GDP figures.

“When growth is lower than it otherwise would be, that means New Zealanders are less prosperous because wages are lower and jobs are fewer.

“The Government can’t ban oil and gas exploration, reduce labour market flexibility, increase union powers, ban foreign investment, and create high levels of uncertainty with more than 150 working groups, including the prospect of more taxes via the tax working group, without there being a significant downward effect on the economy.

“We need pro-growth policies that continue to close the gap in after-tax wages with New Zealand and Australia. Growing the economy is the best way to improve the living standards and wellbeing of New Zealanders, not redistributing what we already have.

“Growth doesn’t happen by itself. It needs good economic policy that encourages businesses to grow, hire new staff and invest in new machinery and equipment. It is time the Coalition Government stopped putting ideology ahead of the economic wellbeing of New Zealanders.

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