In an attempt to cover up the fact that he is failing to rebalance NZ’s economy towards exports, Bill English this week changed the reporting measure.
The Minister’s new volume-based measure of success is akin to placing more importance on the volume of possession held by the USA Eagles in the first half of a recent test match, than on the value of the All Blacks 43 points on the scoreboard.
Unfortunately for the Minister – on the political front – his current rhetoric doesn’t match up with his earlier statements [e.g. see paragraph two of the Ministers' signed Foreword on page 3 of the MBIE Export Progress Report].
While the Minister is managing the politics, our exports have fallen from close to 33% as a proportion of the economy, when he took office, to now under 30%. The Minister is failing in his goal of rebalancing the economy towards exports.
Even with terms of trade at 40 year highs, the OECD says we will have the second worst current account deficit in the developed world this year and the IMF says we will have the worst. On-going failure to rebalance the economy puts at risk the relative prosperity and security New Zealanders have come to enjoy.
As a country, we cannot forever borrow (either publicly or privately) – to buy more than we sell. If the Government doesn’t manage the economy toward balance, eventually there is a consequence – as Greece found out.