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New Zealand Business Confidence May 2023

New Zealand: Business sentiment improves in May

The ANZ bank business outlook indicator rose in May. As a consequence, a net 31.1% of firms reported that they expect general business conditions to worsen in the year ahead, improving from a net 43.8% of firms expecting bleaker general business conditions in the year ahead in April. 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 profit intentions and turned optimistic regarding export intentions. Moreover, inflation expectations moderated.

Meanwhile, firms’ outlooks regarding their own activity—a metric which has a stronger correlation to GDP growth—rose to a net minus 4.5% in May from a net minus 7.6% in April.

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

“Things are patchy, certainly, but most activity indicators are well off their lows and rising, while cost and price indicators are inching lower, rather than plunging. Even the most interest-rate-sensitive sector, construction, is much less downbeat than previously.”

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