Economic pessimism is the highest in New Zealand since the global financial crisis, according to the latest 1News Kantar Public Poll.
It showed almost half of those polled (49%) thought the economy would be in a worse state during the next 12 months, compared to the present.
It was the highest result for pessimism since 2008.
Twenty-two per cent thought it would improve, while 29% thought it would stay the same.
Optimism in the economy had been declining since December 2020 – where it was highly optimistic at 50% across the December and October 2020 polls, while pessimism stayed at 32 to 33%.
In the January 2022 poll, only 22% were optimistic about the economy.
Pessimism had been increasing since March 2021, where it sat at 29% - a 20% difference to January 2022's result.
Prime Minister Ardern said relative to other countries, "New Zealand has done incredibly well in terms of the way our economy has held up".
"This will be the year in which we begin to reconnect, and it will make a difference to how we perform as an economy."
On the economy, National's Christopher Luxon said he was worried about "New Zealand people who are sitting there tonight, anxious about how they're going to pay their bills… the cost of things are going up twice as much as wage growth is".
Political commentator Josie Pagani said New Zealand had experienced the highest rise in inequality "in my working life".
Speaking about the overall 1News Kantar Public Poll results, Pagani said it was a problem for Labour "and that's coming home to roost".
"You've got working class people delivering stuff to middle class people in lockdown. That's fine, but it starts to look like that gap is getting bigger.
"If you owned a house before Covid, great, you're going to be OK. If you didn't, you're worse off."
View the full results from the January poll here.
Many may notice the new name of the 1News poll. It’s the same pollsters, the same techniques but a different name – the 1News Kantar Public poll.
Between January 22 to 26, 2022, 1000 eligible voters were polled by mobile phone (500) and online (500). The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level. For party support, percentages have been rounded up or down to whole numbers. The data has been weighted to align with Stats NZ population counts for age, gender, region, education level and ethnic identification. The sample for mobile phones is selected by random dialling using probability sampling, and the online sample is collected using an online panel.