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The services sector of the economy is now performing at its worst level since 2012 – raising concerns about the economy’s ability to continue to create opportunities, grow jobs and lift wages, National Finance Spokesperson Amy Adams says.

"BNZ and Business New Zealand reported today that their Performance of Services Index had fallen to the lowest level since 2012 - when New Zealand was still emerging from the effects of the Global Financial Crisis and Canterbury earthquakes,” Ms Adams says.

“The Government has been dismissing plummeting business confidence as ‘junk’, but measure after measure is now coming out showing that their policies are having a detrimental impact on businesses.

“Policies like higher fuel taxes, union-friendly 1970’s style industrial relations settings and the shut-down of oil and gas are all adding extra costs on businesses and increasing uncertainty. And when businesses are under pressure, they’re not investing for growth, hiring new staff or lifting wages.

“Services make up two-thirds of the economy – so this poor performance is a worrying sign for hard-working New Zealanders wanting to get ahead.

“Under this Government the number of businesses pessimistic about the year ahead is at its lowest level since the Global Financial Crisis. Whereas in Australia it is at its highest level in decades. We don’t want our kids growing up thinking opportunities only exist overseas.

“The Government needs to stop taking pot-shots at our businesses and making it harder for them to grow. It is only by having a strong economy that we can grow wages and create opportunities for all New Zealanders.”

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