The New Zealand economy is in a state of collapse.
The economy shrank by 0.2 percent in the September quarter - and that follows just a 0.1 percent increase in the GDP figure in the June quarter.
The spectre of a double dip recession now looms large but, frankly,its misleading because most New Zealanders have never actually emerged from the first dip. We can't go 'back' into recession because we have never actually come out of it in the first place.
We're all still on a mad hellish rollercoaster, crashing further down into a deep black economic hole.
I'm not going to repeat the figures here but they are all uniformly bad.
When the next neoliberal clown pipes up with his or her prediction of an 'economic recovery' in 2011, we should simply remember that this recession is now well over two years old and the bottom still hasn't been reached. Things are going to get a whole lot worse and will get a lot more worse more quickly if the American economy, hovering on the edge of a full blown depression, unravels in 2011.
I'm still waiting to see what the US banks are going to do with the $30 trillion worth of toxic debt they have been trying to conceal.
The only 'answer' that the National-led government has to 'our' crisis is to cut spending, cut spending and cut spending. The $2 billion deficit blowout means that Bill English will be inflicting more economic misery on ordinary New Zealanders once he returns from his summer holidays in February.
He expects us plebs to continue to pay the heavy price for an economic crisis we are not responsible for.
We should be seeing heightened resistance to English's new austerity plans but, unfortunately, I suspect we won't. This is because the trade union bureaucracy is going to send ordinary people over the cliff by promoting the election of a Labour Government as the 'solution' to the economic crisis.
Merry Xmas, the economy is collapsing..