New Zealand: Business confidence dips in March
March 31, 2017
Economic sentiment among New Zealand businesses deteriorated in March. The ANZ Bank Business Outlook indicator showed that a net 11.3% of surveyed firms expected better economic conditions in the next 12 months, which was below February’s print of 16.6%. The drop marks the third consecutive decline and the worst reading in ten months. Despite the drop, the indicator remained above the net-0% threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among firms, where it has been since October 2015.
ANZ reported that March’s slip reflected growing pessimism in retailing, construction and agriculture, the latter of which turned negative. Despite growing pessimism in key sectors of the economy, ANZ commented that economic data remains positive overall. Export intentions have increased owing in part to a weakening NZD and willingness to employ remained high. Lastly, businesses’ outlook for the next 12 month is positive and the reading scored in March is well above the series average.