New Zealand: Business confidence broadly unchanged in April
April 28, 2017
Economic sentiment among New Zealand businesses remained virtually stable in April. The ANZ Bank Business Outlook indicator showed that a net 11.0% of surveyed firms expected better economic conditions in the next 12 months, which was marginally below March’s print of 11.3%. ANZ reported that April’s result should not be interpreted as a drop in confidence but rather that the business outlook remained unchanged. With April’s result, the indicator remained above the net-0% threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among firms, where it has been since October 2015.
The latest reading reflected mixed views on the economy. Retailing and manufacturing sentiment deteriorated while it improved in the agriculture, construction and service sectors. The easing trend observed in past business outlook readings is an indication that the economy has entered in a mature stage of the business cycle where slower growth is the new norm. In spite of this, economic data remains positive overall: investment intentions increased further and remains well above the series average, employment intentions in all sectors but agriculture improved and profit expectations increased notably.