New Zealand: Business confidence inches up to eight-month high in March
March 31, 2015
Confidence among businesses rose in March, according to the ANZ Bank Business Outlook, which reported that a net 35.8% of businesses surveyed expected better economic conditions in the coming 12 months. The result, which came in a notch above February’s 34.4%, represented the best result since July 2014. As a result, business confidence moved further above the 0% threshold that separates optimism from pessimism.
According to ANZ, business confidence rose in 11 of the 14 categories that compose the index. Firms’ expectations for their own activity, which is an even better predictor of economic activity, increased from 40.9 points in February to 42.2 points in March. Moreover, ANZ stated that in March, sentiment was positive for all five sub-sectors. The agricultural sector recorded the largest improvement over the previous month, resulting from better climate and late-February’s increase in dairy prices. According to ANZ, March’s survey results indicate that, “the economic expansion continues at a robust pace. […] There is nothing in the seasonal pattern to suggest anything but underlying strength.”