SMEs business confidence 'holding up'

BUSINESSDESK: Small-sized business confidence and hiring intentions are "holding up" even as ongoing uncertainty continues over the global economic outlook, ANZ's Business Micro Scope survey shows.

Business sentiment across all New Zealand firms surveyed was relatively stable in the three months ended September 30, although larger firms were more optimistic than the smallest.

Sentiment across businesses with 20 or more employees rose to 23.5 from 17.7 in the three months ended June 30, while small- and medium-sized businesses, with fewer than 20 staff, eased to 11.6 from 11.8.

Hiring intentions kicked up across both groups, the first rise in 12 months, led by the manufacturing, construction and service sectors. Agriculture was the lowest ranked sector for the second successive quarter, falling to a three year low.

"In a difficult trading environment, it's encouraging to see that small business confidence has remained solid, and that some businesses are expecting to take on more staff," managing director at ANZ Business Banking Fred Ohlsson says.

"New Zealand's 400,000-plus small businesses are the engine room of our economy. Even in difficult times  our smallest firms can help drive employment."

Low turnover was the biggest problem faced by both groups, at 25%, up from 22% in the previous quarter.

The rising exchange rate was of concern for all firms, up 2 percentage points to 10% in September.

Profit expectations for the smallest SMEs fell into negative territory for the first time slipping 8 points to -1.4. Large firms profit expectations edged up 1% to 20.2%.

"The micro business segment (up to 5 employees) reported an 18-month low in activity outlook, while small-sized firms (6-20 employees) registered a three-year low," the report says.

"The combined measure across both segments also eased to its lowest level in three years but remains above the long-term average."

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about My Tags

Comment & Question

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7842 -0.0078 -0.98%
AUD 0.8914 -0.0023 -0.26%
EUR 0.6203 -0.0015 -0.24%
GBP 0.4896 -0.0010 -0.20%
HKD 6.0810 -0.0622 -1.01%
JPY 85.2860 -0.3520 -0.41%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1229.0 2.000 2014-10-28T00:
Oil Brent 86.0 -0.650 2014-10-28T00:
Oil Nymex 81.4 0.410 2014-10-28T00:
Silver Index 17.2 0.065 2014-10-28T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5338.3 5367.6 5338.3 0.33%
NASDAQ 4551.4 4564.4 4564.3 -0.33%
DAX 9139.0 9157.6 9068.2 0.16%
DJI 17005.1 17065.5 17005.8 -0.18%
FTSE 6402.2 6475.4 6402.2 0.81%
HKSE 23704.0 23855.7 23520.4 1.27%
NI225 15442.4 15595.3 15329.9 1.46%