Key: Economy doing fine, aside from dairy
Prime Minister John Key has downplayed the concerns of New Zealanders, saying the economy is well-balanced and remains in a strong position despite spiralling dairy prices and a downturn in the Chinese markets.
Four in 10 Kiwis are pessimistic about whether the economy will improve over the next year according to a Colmar Brunton poll released yesterday.
The growth in negativity has spiked 10 points since the last poll, but Mr Key said such scepticism should be expected given how the media has portrayed the country's economy.
"It's not surprising when you think about the sort of news you see across the TV - dairy prices lower, China slowing down a wee bit, things like that" he said on TV3's Paul Henry programme this morning.
"But overall actually… New Zealand's economic fundamentals are very, very strong – much stronger than many other countries.
"Our economy is much more balanced than people think."
The Prime Minister said he has sympathy for dairy farmers, who are battling a slump in milk prices, but the economy as a whole was performing well.
"You go and ask a beef farmer how things are going at the moment – they'll tell you it's booming. And wine's doing well, kiwifruit's back."
While Mr Key said it's his job as a salesman to speak up about New Zealand's economic health, he had concerns about a slowdown in Chinese exports.
"I always worry about things I can't control. The Government gets up in the morning and hopefully passes laws and policies that actually stimulate the economy and position us well… I can't control what happens in China," he says.
"But if you take a step back and be realistic about it, we have very strong stimulus in lots of different parts of our economy."
Bringing the kiwi down from near-parity with the Australian dollar has also helped exporters, says Mr Key.
NZN / 3 News