New Zealand: Business sentiment improves in January
The ANZ bank business outlook indicator rose in January. As a consequence, a net 52.0% of firms reported that they expect general business conditions to worsen in the year ahead, improving from a net 70.2% of firms expecting bleaker general business conditions in the year ahead in December. 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 15.8% in January from a net minus 25.6% in December.
Commenting on the release, Sharon Zollner, chief economist at ANZ, stated:
“The survey still implies that the RBNZ is in danger of engineering a harder landing than intended, with downside risk to residential investment, business investment and overall GDP.”