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New Zealand Business Confidence March 2024

New Zealand: Business sentiment falls but remains upbeat in March

The ANZ bank business outlook indicator declined in March, although it remained strongly optimistic. A net 22.9% of firms reported that they expect general business conditions to improve in the year ahead, declining from a net 34.7% of firms expecting better general business conditions in the year ahead in February. That said, the headline remained firmly above the net-0% threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among businesses.

Businesses grew less upbeat with regards to export and investment intentions and turned pessimistic on profit expectations.

Meanwhile, firms’ outlooks regarding their own activity—a metric which has a stronger correlation to GDP growth—decreased to a net 22.5% in March from a net 29.5% in February.

Commenting on the outlook, Sharon Zollner, chief economist at ANZ, stated:

“The economy is broadly following the path laid out for it by the Reserve Bank: not a path strewn with rose petals, but a hard and rocky path through dangerous lands from which not all will emerge unscathed.”

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