New Zealand: Business confidence ticks up in October
The ANZ Bank Business Outlook indicator showed that a net 37.1% of surveyed firms were pessimistic over general business conditions in the year ahead in October, a smaller proportion than September’s 38.3%. As a result, the indicator edged up closer to the net-0% threshold that separates pessimism from optimism among firms. Sentiment improved in all sectors but retail, where it weakened notably compared to September.
Meanwhile, firms’ positive outlook regarding their own activity—a metric which has a stronger correlation to GDP growth—ticked down from 7.8 points in September to 7.4 points in October. Although firms’ intentions to undertake investment and hire additional workers rose in October, their profit expectations deteriorated from the previous month. Meanwhile, a sizeable number of firms still foresee credit difficulties ahead.