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New Zealand Business Confidence February 2023

New Zealand: Business sentiment improves in February

The ANZ bank business outlook indicator rose in February. As a consequence, a net 43.3% of firms reported that they expect general business conditions to worsen in the year ahead, improving from a net 52.0% of firms expecting bleaker general business conditions in the year ahead in January. As a result, the headline remained entrenched below the net-0% threshold that separates pessimism from optimism among businesses.

Business grew less downbeat with regards to ease of credit, profit expectations and export and employment intentions. Moreover, expectations of capacity utilization improved.

Meanwhile, firms’ outlooks regarding their own activity—a metric which has a stronger correlation to GDP growth—rose to a net minus 9.2% in February from a net minus 15.8% in January.

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

“The shock value of the November Monetary Policy Statement appears to have faded into the rear-vision mirror as firms focus on the risks and opportunities that are front and centre. […] That said, the level of most indicators remain subdued – firms are still very wary, and understandably so. But they are getting on with the job.”

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