Kiwis outlook on economy remains pessimistic

New Zealanders’ outlook on the economy has remained stable over the past three months despite rising inflation, according to the latest 1News Kantar Public Poll.

File image: Wallet with money.

Kiwis remain pessimistic about the economy, with 49% believing it will worsen in the next 12 months.

However, the figure has been relatively stable throughout the past three months amid inflationary and cost of living pressure.

Nearly an equal number of New Zealanders believe the economy will be in a better (26%) or same (25%) state over the next year. The new figures come from a 1News Kantar Public Poll that collected data between July 30 and August 3.

The same question on economic outlook, asked in March, found that confidence in the economy had dropped to its lowest level since 2008, with 53% believing the economy would be in a worse state over the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, May’s 1News Kantar Public Poll measured the “worse” state figure at 50%.

Twenty-six per cent of those polled in late May said they believed the economy would stay in the same state, while 24% thought it would be in a better state.

The latest figures have come as opposition political pressure continues building amid record inflation.

Between May and the latest poll, the Government extended its cost of living-related half-price public transport offer and fuel excise duty changes until 2023.

It also distributed its cost of living payment on August 1.

National and ACT have accused the Government of inducing greater inflation through its spending – including through the new payment.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has rejected those accusations and told Q+A’s Jack Tame that alternate measures – like tax cuts – would’ve been worse.

“The advice that we got from Treasury was the fact that it was time-limited and targeted, it would lessen any potential impact on inflation. Compare that to alternative measures like tax cuts, not so, because it’s less targeted.”

In the past three months, the Government also introduced plans to bring in a new supermarket watchdog to crack down on the grocery duopoly. Ardern said Kiwi’s cost-of-living situation had exposed “a problem in our grocery sector in New Zealand”, adding, “we do need to address that as well”.

National and ACT have called for further tax cuts in response to inflationary pressure, saying that Government spending ultimately needed greater focus.

“This year’s Budget included by far the most new spending of any Budget in New Zealand’s history, and it was delivered when the economy was already overheated and inflation was rising,” Luxon said on Sunday.

“The Government made up the cost-of-living payment to cover its own mismanagement of the economy”.

Full results from the 1News Kantar Public Poll on and on 1News at 6pm.

Between July 30 to August 3, 2022, 1023 eligible voters were polled by mobile phone (504) and online, using online panels (519). The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level. The data has been weighted to align with Stats NZ population counts for age, gender, region, education level and ethnic identification. The sample for mobile phones is selected by random dialling using probability sampling, and the online sample is collected using an online panel. 

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