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New Zealand Business Confidence January 2024

New Zealand: Business sentiment rises again in January

The ANZ bank business outlook indicator rose again in January. A net 36.6% of firms reported that they expect general business conditions to improve in the year ahead, improving from a net 33.2% of firms expecting better general business conditions in the year ahead in December. As a result, the headline moved further above the net-0% threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among businesses.

Businesses grew more upbeat with regards to profit expectations. Moreover, export intentions improved.

Meanwhile, firms’ outlooks regarding their own activity—a metric which has a stronger correlation to GDP growth—fell to a net 25.6% in January from a net 29.3% in December.

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

“Overall, businesses […] expect the worst is past. Of course, the unexpected has a habit of turning up regularly, but overall, the RBNZ has made steady progress in its inflation fight. Although the medicine has been bitter, it’s working. We just need those pricing intentions to start playing ball to be sure that progress in getting inflation down will be maintained without another dose of monetary tightening.”

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