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Business confidence dips but still points to solid economic growth – ANZ

Optimists continue to outnumber pessimists and activity.

Rebecca Howard
Thu, 31 Aug 2017

New Zealand business confidence dipped in August but optimists continue to outnumber pessimists and activity and investment intentions remain consistent with solid economic growth.

A net 18.3% of firms surveyed in the ANZ Business Outlook expect general business conditions to improve over the coming year, down from 19.4% in August. In seasonally adjusted terms, business confidence rose three points to a net 30%. Regarding the activity outlook, a net 38.2% of firms anticipate better time ahead for their own business, down from 40.3% in July. While it is down slightly on the month it is "still polling high," said ANZ Bank chief economist Cameron Bagrie. The long run average is 28 percent.

The survey shows investment plans were virtually unchanged at a net 22.8% versus 23.0% in July. However, a net 17.1% of firms expect to take on more staff in the coming year down from a net 25.7% in July, something Mr Bagrie said may be linked to difficulty finding suitable candidates for jobs.

"We're seeing healthy readings for confidence, activity expectation, investment and employment across all sectors and regions," Mr Bagrie said. "That's a broad-based economic expansion in operation." He said ANZ's confidence composite indicator points to annual GDP growth in excess of 4%. However, difficulty in finding skill labour and subpar productivity growth "puts that out of reach in practice." Real GDP growth of around 3% is far more feasible, Mr Bagrie said.

A net 29.3% anticipate bigger profits in the year to come up from 24.9% in July while 20.5% plan to raise prices, down from 27.6%. A net 26.8% percent see exports increasing over the coming year, down from 32.7% in the previous month, the survey showed.

(BusinessDesk)

Rebecca Howard
Thu, 31 Aug 2017
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Business confidence dips but still points to solid economic growth – ANZ
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