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RBNZ lying on manufacturing

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, February 15th, 2013 - 23 comments
Categories: Economy, making shit up - Tags:

What’s up with the Treasury and Reserve Bank presenting clearly trumped up, fake numbers to pretend the economy is doing better than it is? Wheeler was caught out claiming the banks weren’t excessively profitable by international standards – they are. Treasury said private electricity suppliers aren’t more expensive – they are – and claimed we’re not unequal by OECD standards – we are. Now, the Reserve Bank is telling blatant lies about the manufacturing sector.

Here’s the lie:

Reserve Bank research on the sector noted that the steep fall in manufacturing output during the recession was in domestic sales, much of which goes to the construction sector, while exports held their ground.

I’m surprised an experienced business journalist like Brian Fallow published such rubbish given that manufacturers are howling that the dollar is costing exports and jobs.

Here’s the fact-check (two minutes on Stats NZ Infoshare):

Manufactured exports Inflation-adjusted
2008 12,582,386,051 13830568212
2009 11,225,937,233 12083904812
2010 11,633,906,994 12241257674
2011 11,991,517,640 12128993399
2012 11,366,072,633 11375803860
change -10% -18%


Not only have manufactured exports fallen dramatically, they’re still falling.

Why are government agencies telling such transparent lies about the economy?

23 comments on “RBNZ lying on manufacturing”

  1. One Tāne Huna 1

    Way to go, RBNZ, now you’re doing the whole country a disservice. Players.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      And maybe now we now why Graham Wheeler was appointed Governor. So far the man has stuck rigorously to the failed economic orthodoxy … and now the political one as well.

      So much for independence.

    • newsense 1.2

      Gee- it sounds like you are saying that the Reserve Bank and Treasury are no longer even attempting to be a-political, but are now part of the National party research and spin machine James?

  2. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 2

    Statistics are still being manufactured, that’s one enterprise still going in NZ thank goodness. Which will be under threat of gradual depletion as the right wing governments don’t want to know those facts – too much information jeeez. This blog gives us good information, perhaps with such we can colour in enough of the numbers so we can get the picture of the whole work of art.

    Another manufacture is the fine art business of presenting negative information, unattractive to the government, so that it actually looks positive. That’s called PR or BS amongst those of us who are just common potty mouths. We demand straight, reliable, factual and unadulterated information from the various bodies like Treasury and Reserve Bank which are paid huge money to ensure that they are independent reporters on our economy.

  3. Richard 3

    It’s almost as if complex multi-variable analysis can yield different results depending on the sophistication of the modelling used.

    It could also quite possibly be that the trained experts know better how to get meaningful data compared to blow-hard keyboard warriors and unqualified politicos;

    But hey, attack the hard working members of New Zealand’s public service by constructing an elaborate conspiracy theory; it’s certainly much easier than actually trying to understand why their detailed reports yield different answers than your back of the envelope calculations.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Well if the RBNZ says that manufactured exports have “held their ground” while the Stats numbers show a decline in real terms of 18% …. what ‘complex multi-variable’ explanation do you have for this?

    • One Tāne Huna 3.2

      To be fair, The Herald quotes Doug Steel, not the RBNZ directly.

    • Colonial Viper 3.3

      But hey, attack the hard working members of New Zealand’s public service by constructing an elaborate conspiracy theory;

      What’s elaborate and conspiratorial about the RBNZ giving English and Key cover?

      Pretty standard I would’ve thought.

      It almost seems like you don’t want questions to be asked. What’s up with that? Are you part of the “conspiracy”???

  4. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 4

    This is a market system we are operating under, not some soft be kind to the workers leftie comfort blanket /sarc.

    You call them hard working members of NZ’s public service – NZs have got a right to query the quality, value and reliability of their product.

  5. muzza 5

    RBNZ – Part of the Global Central Banking Cartel (Foreign controlled)

    RBNZ Govenor – Graham Wheeler – Ex World Banker 2001-2010 – (Foreign controlled)

    2010-present: Non-executive director, Thyssen-Bornemisza Group. Co-founded a European-based company providing advice on Russian privatisation to investors and Russian policy makers.

    2006-2010: Managing director of operations at the World Bank, Washington. Joint oversight of 12,000 staff with administrative budget of US$1.7 billion (NZ$2.1b) and a portfolio of 1600 projects.

    2001-2006: Vice-president and treasurer of the World Bank. Managed asset and liability portfolios totalling US$250b, and an annual borrowing programme of US$10-20 billion.

    1997-2001: Director of the Financial Products and Services Department at the World Bank. Led team to modernise the World Bank’s lending products. 1993-1997: Treasurer at the New Zealand Debt Management Office and deputy secretary to the New Zealand Treasury.

    1990-1993: Director of Macroeconomic Policy at the New Zealand Treasury.

    1984-90: Economic and financial counsellor to the New Zealand delegation to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris.

    1973-1984: Adviser and senior adviser at the New Zealand Treasury.

    Who exactly do people expect Wheeler to represent?

  6. Adrian 6

    James, I don’t doubt your figures, but on the 11.3 billion one it would make the wine industry at 1.1 billion 10% of all exports and I didn’t think that we ( I’m a grower ) were that high a percentage.
    Are they adjusted for some factors, such as the imported costs involved ( in wines case that is only some of the bottles) ? I also thought that dairy was 6 or 7 billion and petroleum 3 to 4 and that’s not counting meat, fish timber and electronics. What does the 11.3 include?
    Good analysis by the way and a good reminder that we need to get our arse into gear.

    • Bunji 6.1

      His figures are for manufactured exports, not all exports. Wine, dairy, natural gas, meat, fish, timber (raw – most of it) don’t count. Electronics (and wood products) will.

  7. Financially literate 7

    As former public servant I detest armchair critics who impugn the integrity of our public service. The public service can make mistakes like any other collection of human beings but to suggest that they are liars requires a burden of proof much higher than an amateur’s analysis of Stats NZ data.

    For those interested in the RBNZ paper :

    • Afewknowthetruth 7.1

      The whole point about the public service is that they do NO research and just regurgitate economic garbage year in year out,

      Hence NZ still has no strategies for dealing with peak oil 6 years after it happened and is headed down the gurgler, along with all the other nations that have no strategies.

      And yes, most public servants ARE liars at the local council level, at the regional council level and at the government level. Either that or they are fuckwits.

    • DH 7.2

      “For those interested in the RBNZ paper :

      I was interested enough to read it. Relevant statement looks to be this one;

      “Exports of (non-primary) manufactured goods have held up relatively well in the last few years.”

      The paper doesn’t give any actual data on export history so it’s a bit difficult to see what their ‘relatively well’ means subjectively but I’d agree it doesn’t read as ‘held their ground’. Bit of journalistic licence taken there I think

      I do find it a bit ironic that an RBNZ research paper is admitting what the rest of the country has known for years; that the high $NZD is hurting NZ manufacturers.

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  9. Afewknowthetruth 9

    Everything in the system is a lie or is based on a lie. -the money system, GDP, unemployment numbers, deficits, the history that is taught in schools, environmental reports and policies………


  10. Poission 10

    Wheelers bottom line in his recent article( quoting some obscure us sos)

    “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice”.

    suggests that his logical arguments have little scientific basis (testable) ie the laws of both biology and thermodynamics are based on chance as are the inference of economic cycles (eg Slusky 1927,37)

    It is often the application of policy (such as monetary) such as interest hikes or inertia of macro prudential tools such as Bollard and Wheeler or employment reforms such as NATS that make the economic cycles entrain ( a positive feedback) that cause both contraction and unemployment to both persist and exhbit hysteresis.

    The fundamental problems is that where say some form of structual reform is required in financial regulation (deregulation) is we often have too much consultation from turkeys aka vested interests,who often want to limit the future constraints such as the festive harvest season.

    This additional complexity has made both obfuscation and avoidance in the regulatory framework more feasible ie more complex rules and regulations provide more opportunity for “consultants”.

    Less is more and more is less,Haldane has a very nice paper (the dog and the frisbee) on this subject

    NZ has been often the leader in social experiments it would be an opportunity to again become a leader by the simplification of codes,tax rules and removing foreign trust regimes etc.

  11. Hi,
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