Manufactured exports continue to fall under the National Government providing further evidence of a growing crisis in manufacturing, the Green Party said today.
New Statistics New Zealand Overseas Merchandise Trade figures for December 2012 show annual manufacturing exports values down 5.2 percent over the year, and down 9.7 percent since National took office.
"Manufactured exports have fallen 9.7% since National took office providing further evidence of a growing crisis in manufacturing," said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
"Steven Joyce denies there's a problem but the evidence shows our manufacturing sector is in real trouble.
"On Planet Joyce, there's no crisis in manufacturing, despite the on-going decline in manufactured exports and the loss of 40,000 jobs in the sector since 2008.
"The National Government has failed to put our economy onto a more sustainable, jobs rich path.
"This fragile economic recovery looks disturbingly similar to previous economic recoveries, which are focused on unsustainable growth in house prices and consumer spending - not the critical rebalancing promised by Bill English.
"As National Bank Chief Economist Cameron Bagrie has said, increased activity in the housing sector is 'not the stuff of a durable, long-term, sustainable upswing'."
Treasury is forecasting the current account balance - the measure of our outgoings and incomings with the rest of the world - to deteriorate further over the next three years to $15.1 billion or 6.2 percent of GDP by 2016.
"Our widening current account deficit is the single most obvious measure of an economy that's living beyond its means," Dr Norman said
"High value-added manufactured exports and import substitution are a key part of economic rebalancing and drive the creation of well-paid jobs throughout our economy.
"Manufacturing can thrive again in a smart green economy, but it's going to need a Government that recognises the challenges manufacturers' face - namely the high and highly volatile New Zealand dollar - and deliver policy that will help them," Dr Norman said.
"Telling manufacturers to simply smarten up is unhelpful, at best."
Link to Statistics New Zealand Overseas Merchandise Trade figures:
Finance Minister Bill English on the importance of an export-led recovery:
Questions for Oral Answer, 24 August 2010
Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga: What are the benefits to the economy of an export-led recovery?
Hon BILL ENGLISH: It is vital that we rebalance our economy towards growth from the export sector. Too much of our growth over the last 4 or 5 years has come from people borrowing too much, speculating in the housing market, and that being reinforced by a splurge in Government spending. As a lot of Kiwis have found out, that is not a recipe for sustainable jobs, so an export-led recovery is required to rebalance the economy.