Grant Thorton’s research shows New Zealand businesses had a net 66% positive outlook for this year, compared with a negative 15% outlook at the same time last year.
A lack of direction from the Government is a key threat to a seven-year peak in business optimism, Grant Thornton partner Peter Sherwin says.
Lacking direction? Long before the last election National was clear about where it wanted New Zealand to go and how it would help us get there.
Anyone who doesn’t understand that should read what Bill English wrote:
Economic growth matters because it creates jobs, lifts incomes and improves the living standards of families. Only through lifting our economic growth can we close the gap with our trading partners and create new jobs to replace those lost during the recession.
Making changes that help permanently lift our economic performance will be the overriding focus of the 2010 Budget.
He points out that:
The tradeable side of the economy – exports and those industries that face international competition – has been in recession for five years, with output now some 10 per cent below 2005 levels.
By contrast, the public sector has grown rapidly, but with poor productivity. That has lowered the economy’s overall productivity. Unless we can turn this around and create the right environment for businesses to compete on the world stage, we will not achieve the sustained increase in incomes the Government aspires to.
The government has identified six key areas as potential drivers of growth:
These are investment in productive infrastructure, removing red tape and improving regulation, supporting business innovation and trade, improving education and lifting skills, lifting productivity and improving services in the public sector, and strengthening the tax system. The 2010 Budget will feature initiatives across these areas.
All these will help improve the business environment and it’s those businesses which get on with their business without waiting round for the government which will be benefit most from it.