Auckland business confidence hits 12-month low

Michael Barnett: Surprised at survey results

Auckland business confidence has hit what the chamber of commerce says is a "surprising" 12-month low.

The latest Auckland Chamber of Commerce quarterly business confidence survey, using responses from almost 1000 business owners and managers, shows net confidence in the country's business situation is 11%.

That is the lowest point for 12 months, and compares to 16% in the last quarter and 12% in May.

Chamber chief executive Michael Barnett says he is surprised at the results.

"It seems uncertainty in the economy is delaying businesses making decisions to grow and employ and yet that uncertainty is unnecessary," he says in a statement.

“We have so many major projects in Auckland that could be accelerated and used to stimulate our economy.

"Instead, we have businesses that have trimmed down while waiting for a recovery that has not arrived and now they are looking at further cuts to their businesses."

Finding skilled staff is difficult, particularly in the technology/communications and retail sectors, the survey suggests, while other business owners remain bullish.

“The survey shows a definite trend towards businesses tightening the belt and continuing to reduce expenditure.”

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