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Kiwis fear economy on verge of downturn

Kirsten TV3

TV 3 News
9  August 2015

Kiwis fear economy on verge of downturn

The economic gloom of the farmers’ ‘Black Friday’ could spread, the latest 3News-Reid Research poll showing a clear majority of New Zealanders fear the economy is headed for a downturn.
But Prime Minister John Key says the economy is better placed than they think, and there’s no need to panic.
Kirsten Taylor founded Sleep Drops, the sleep remedy, in the middle of the global financial crisis. She’s now preparing for more economic turbulence.

“Yeah, I think it’s a real concern. I think our farmers have been putting in the hard yards for the last few years and they haven’t had any good news come back to them.”

The Kiwi economy is being hit on three fronts: the dairy crisis, the slowdown in China and ongoing uncertainty in Greece, and voters are worried.
Sixty-four percent of people who took part in the poll say yes, a downturn is on the horizon.
Mr Key says there’s no reason to be afraid at all.

“It’s hardly surprising that a majority of New Zealanders thinks that could cause some headwinds for New Zealand; it doesn’t mean we’re going into recession.”

Dairy accounts for 20 percent of New Zealand exports, and China is our second-largest export market.
But Mr Key says the economy is sturdier than people think.

“I think the counter to all of this is the New Zealand economy is far more diversified than a lot of people give it credit, is very resilient, has strong stimulus in a lot of other areas.”

Ms Taylor agrees, and says it isn’t all doom and gloom

“I think it’s something to be concerned about. But at the same time as the dollar goes down, other industries will open up like the great figures around tourism, and they’re having a great impact on New Zealand.”

The economy suffered yet another blow from the dairy slump today. This will really test Mr Key’s assurance the economy is diversified enough to handle it.
The question now is whether Black Friday will turn into a black economic winter.