New Zealand: Business confidence rises in May but remains in pessimistic territory
The ANZ bank business outlook indicator rose by 5.5 points in May, with a net 32.0% firms reporting that they expect general business conditions to deteriorate this year. The headline reading remained firmly below the net-0% threshold that separates pessimism from optimism among businesses. May’s result largely reflected an improved outlook in the construction sector, after the government scrapped its proposed capital gains tax on 17 April.
Meanwhile, firms’ positive outlook regarding their own activity—a metric which has a stronger correlation to GDP growth—ticked up to a net 8.5% in May, after reporting a net 7.1% in April. Notably, the activity outlook for the manufacturing and construction sectors improved from the previous month.