English: Business resilience turning into business confidence
There's a positive outlook for the economy, with Finance Minister Bill English predicting growth over the next two years to be more than 3 percent.
In his first major speech this year, Mr English told Auckland business leaders this afternoon that most Kiwi businesses have survived the global financial crisis, after being forced to tighten their belts and become more efficient.
"Initially the response was around resilience. Now as I visit businesses around the country, I'm seeing that resilience turn into confidence," he says.
It is translating into higher investment rates, which have increased from $31 billion in 2010 to $32b last year.
Despite talk of a manufacturing crisis, Mr English says there has been expansion in that sector for 40 months straight.
And although the dairy sector is still flat or falling -- beef, tourism, education, wine and ICT are up.
"Some farmers are doing it tough, but we do need to keep this in perspective.
"While we can expect continued volatility in global markets, the New Zealand longer-term outlook is sound," says Mr English.