Alf is taking action as a follow-up to his item about the gloomy economists, journalists and commentators who spread their insidious pessimism through the economy and infect our growth prospects.
Today he has declared war on doomsayers and gloom-spreaders and is naming the first candidates to be put in a tumbrel, then carted through the main streets of Wellington to be locked in the stocks for a day or two (hopefully to a loud chorus of jeers from the public who know what to do with any rotten vegetables or fruit they might have).
They are economics writer Brian Fallow and his editor at the NZ Herald for trumpeting 50,000 jobs to go’ as economy shrinks.
The bank economists quoted in their confidence-sapping report, who expect the New Zealand economy to shrink by up to 1.2 per cent this year and the unemployment rate to climb above 6 per cent, should be jammed in with them. Alf hopes its an uncomfortable ride.
According to the Herald,
Bank economists have updated forecasts for the New Zealand economy over the past week and they make dispiriting reading.
The Bank of New Zealand expects the economy to contract 0.9 per cent this year, ANZ National 1.1 per cent and Westpac 1.2 per cent.
They predict employment will fall.
“We envisage a net loss of around 50,000 jobs through 2009, which will push the unemployment rate to 6.5 per cent by the end of the year,” BNZ economist Craig Ebert said.
ANZ National and Westpac are picking 6.6 and 6.4 per cent respectively.
Out here in rural New Zealand, we would rather not know about New Zealand’s 14 largest trading partners, after growing by an average 3.1 per cent a year over the past 10 years, expecting to contract this year. Or that dairy farmers’ incomes will be casualties of the general commodities crash.
The BNZ’s Ebert deserves an especially over-ripe tomato being thrown at him for saying “the dairy payout will do well to have a $5 in front of it.”
Another one should be biffed at ANZ National chief economist Cameron Bagrie for warning that with farm incomes set to fall, we could see a sharp fall in rural land prices.
Alf wonders if the Herald sifts out the good-news quotes about the rural economy, then throws them away.
Ha. They missed one.
Alf notes that Ebert said-
“But export prices for meat, horticulture and seafood have held up reasonably well – so far – when translated into New Zealand dollars.”
So why didn’t the gloomy buggers at the Herald get a headline out of that?