Labour productivity, household wealth and business innovation all score poorly in an assessment by the New Zealand Institute.
An analysis of 16 measures of economic, social and environmental well-being, found six have improved in the last six months, but four deteriorated.
There was no A-grade for any of the measures and three of the five economic economic indicators were awarded Ds.
The institute says New Zealand's labour productivity is not improving fast enough, household wealth and already low savings levels are declining, while businesses are not innovative enough.
Economic growth earned a C grade, but the institute says incomes remain below the OECD average.
An educational achievement measure fared the best of the economic indicators, and was awarded a B.
The institute praises what it calls the world class quality of the education system - but says too many groups remain disadvantaged
Overall, the institute gives New Zealand a C for achievement, and a B-minus for effort.
It says the nation is making promising steps on the economy, but still has a lot of work to do.