New Zealand: Business confidence jumps to 19-month high
February 28, 2013
According to the February business confidence indicator published by ANZ, a net 39.4% of respondents to the survey expect better economic prospects in the next 12 months. The result, which represents the highest confidence level in 19 months, was up 16.7 points over the December reading (the survey is not conducted in January), when a net 22.7% of businesses expected better economic times. As a result, the index remains well above the 0-point threshold which indicates that optimistic respondents outnumber pessimists.
According to ANZ, business confidence improved in all five sub-sectors, particularly in construction. Moreover, firms' own activity expectations - a better predictor for economic activity - improved over December, suggesting more solid growth prospects in the coming months. On the downside, businesses' export intentions fell over December.
Consensus Forecasts panellists expect fixed investment to grow 8.0% in 2013, which is down 0.4 percentage points from last month's estimate. For 2014, the panel sees fixed investment decelerating to 6.8%.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist