New Zealand's April trade surplus announced yesterday show that the downturn is making companies more reluctant to invest.
The trade figures released by Statistics NZ showed imports were down 7.3% in April from the same month a year ago.
One of the major contributors to the fall was lower capital goods imports which fell 17.6% in April. Even allowing for the removal of a large, one-off capital item imported in last April - the figures are significant.
Machinery and plant imports and transport equipment were at their lowest levels in the last five quarters.