New Zealand Business Confidence March 2019

New Zealand

New Zealand: Business confidence falls further in March

March 28, 2019

The ANZ bank business outlook indicator started the year on weaker footing after recording a second consecutive drop in March, which pushed the index further down into pessimistic territory. A net 38.0% of surveyed firms reported that they expect general business conditions to deteriorate this year, up from February’s 31.0%. With more firms pessimistic in March, the headline reading consequently remained below the net-0% threshold that separates pessimism from optimism among businesses. March’s dip reflected a broad-base deterioration in expectations, which was particularly pronounced in the agricultural and retail sectors.

Meanwhile, firms’ positive outlook regarding their own activity—a metric which has a stronger correlation to GDP growth—eased again in March to a net 6.3%, after reporting a net 10.5% in February. Notably, the activity outlook for the retail sector turned negative. In addition, the outlook for the agricultural sector fell sharply and now sits on the neutral 0.0% threshold.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect fixed investment to grow 2.8% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and also 2.8% in 2020.

Author:, Economist

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New Zealand Business Confidence Chart

New Zealand Business Confidence March 2019 0

Note: Percentage of respondents expecting improvement in general business conditions minus percentage expecting deterioration. An index number above 0 indicates that optimists outnumber pessimists. The survey is not conducted in January.
Source: ANZ Bank Business Outlook.

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