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Today’s ANZ Business Confidence survey shows optimism continues to tumble at a time when New Zealand should be doing well, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“Headline business confidence fell six points to net -44 per cent in July’s ANZ Business Outlook. Firms’ views of their own activity fell three points to the lowest read since August last year. Other activity indicators were also weaker.

“Business confidence has continued to plummet even further than it was in the depths of the Global Financial Crisis. This means businesses are less likely to invest or hire new staff.

“Slumping business confidence, which Government ministers routinely refer to as junk, is a symptom of the confusion and doubt that this Government has sewn.

“It’s fallen because this Government continues to add costs to business. It has created massive uncertainty and has demonstrated incompetence in critical areas, most famously with KiwiBuild.

“This low confidence is a factor in the sharp decline in the New Zealand economy under this Government. From growth approaching 4 per cent in 2016, we are currently down to 2.5 per cent under Labour, and tracking lower in many estimates.

“A slower economy means fewer opportunities for Kiwis to get ahead, to gain well-paying, satisfying jobs, and less ability for our country to afford quality healthcare and public services.

“This Government needs to stop taking economic growth for granted and dial back its anti-growth agenda, while getting on with delivering the infrastructure this country needs.

“A National Government would restore confidence and revive our economy, so that we can lift our aspirations, both in what we can earn and in what social challenges we can overcome.”

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