Manufacturing outside the primary sector continues to struggle, according to figures from the Economic Survey of Manufacturing, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“The picture for manufacturing overall is stagnation. For industries outside the primary sector it is considerably worse.
“Non-primary manufacturing sales fell 0.7 per cent by value and 0.8 per cent by volume. Even including the primary sector, with an expected boost from the drought due to a need to cull more animals, total manufacturing volume fell 0.6 per cent.
“Since 2008, exports of simply and elaborately transformed manufacturing have fallen by 18.7 per cent and 16.2 per cent respectively.
“In National’s two speed economy, speculators thrive while the productive economy languishes.
“Despite the Government’s attempt to claim the economy is turning a corner, manufacturing is still in decline, which is one of the reasons we have the largest current account deficit in the developed world.
“The Government is conveniently ignoring the plight of manufacturers across the country. As part of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing I have heard a constant message that more must be done.
“Action must be taken to revive our exporting manufacturers. We need a strong export sector based on successful manufacturers to create the jobs and good wages we need.
“A successful manufacturing export sector will also reduce the staggering $10 billion gap between what we buy and what we sell offshore and our interest bill that we as a country need to close.
“The crippling effect of the high dollar must be tackled. Labour will reform monetary policy so the Reserve Bank is freed from its tunnel-vision mandate of the primacy of inflation and allowed to give stronger consideration to the exchange rate and jobs.
“Stronger action must also be taken on Government procurement and research and development to give a strong base for our businesses to innovate and thrive.
“Modern manufacturing using new technology is the future for better jobs, more exports and higher incomes,” says David Parker.
10 June 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT