New Zealand: Business confidence jumps again in December
December 20, 2019
The ANZ bank business outlook indicator surged in December but nevertheless a net 13.2% of firms still reported that they expect general business conditions to deteriorate in the year ahead, from a net 26.4% in November. The result represents the highest print in two years. The headline reading thus remained entrenched below the net-0% threshold that separates pessimism from optimism among businesses.
December’s result reflected strong improvements in the activity outlook, employment and investment intentions, as well as better projections on exports. Moreover, both profit expectations and capacity utilization increased, although the former remained slightly in pessimistic terrain. On the flip side, ease of credit expectations deteriorated notably and thus moved further into pessimistic territory.
Meanwhile, firms’ outlooks regarding their own activity—a metric which has a stronger correlation to GDP growth—climbed to a net plus 17.2% in December, following November’s net plus 12.9%. Notably, the activity outlook for all the covered sectors is in positive terrain now, with the manufacturing sector showing the most positive outlook.