New Zealand: Business confidence improves in December
The ANZ Bank Business Outlook indicator reported significant improvements in business confidence in December, with a net 24.1% of surveyed firms reporting pessimism over general business conditions in the year ahead (November: 37.1%). The headline reading, however, remained below the net-0% threshold that separates pessimism from optimism among firms. December’s 13.0 percentage-point improvement came on the back of a better perception of the availability of credit, expectations on profitability and employment, and investment and export intentions.
Meanwhile, firms’ positive outlook of their own activity—a metric which has a stronger correlation to GDP growth—rose by 6.0 percentage points reaching a net 13.6%, after reporting a net 7.6% a month prior. Notably, the activity outlook for services and agricultural output drove the monthly result, despite a marginal decrease in manufacture production projections.