GDP figures confirm need for government’s growth plan

  • Bill English

Gross Domestic Product figures issued this morning confirm the need for the government's robust economic plan to lift New Zealanders' incomes through sustainable medium to long-term growth, Finance Minister Bill English says.

"The economic situation we have inherited calls for decisive action and that's what we are committed to delivering for New Zealanders through a number of initiatives we have underway," Mr English says.

Statistics New Zealand has confirmed that production-based GDP, the broadest measure of economic activity, fell 0.4 per cent in the September year, extending the recession into a third successive quarter.

The figures were not surprising, given the sharply deteriorating global and domestic scenarios set out in the Treasury's December Economic and Fiscal Update (DEFU) last week, Mr English says.

With the global economic outlook remaining of concern, it was now essential that New Zealand's economy was put on a medium to long-term growth footing as quickly as possible.

"Our challenge for 2009 is to put New Zealand in the strongest possible position to take advantage of better economic times when they come internationally. A sustainable plan that brings together coherent, growth-focused policies is long overdue.

"We have already started implementing our economic plan, which includes tax cuts to put more money in New Zealanders' pockets, bringing forward infrastructure spending to support economic growth and extracting better value out of government spending.  We will continue that momentum in the New Year."

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