New Zealand: Businesses turn more optimistic in February
February 29, 2012
According to the February business confidence indicator published by the National Bank of New Zealand (NBNZ), a net 28.0% of respondents to the survey expect better economic conditions for the next 12 months. The result was up 11.1 points over the December reading (the survey is not conducted in January), when a net 16.9% of businesses expected better economic times. As a result of the February jump, the index remains well above the 0-point threshold, which indicates that optimistic respondents outnumber pessimists. According to the NBNZ, all five major sub-categories recorded notable improvements, particularly construction, which ?is now most confident in regard to the general business environment.? Moreover, businesses' own activity expectations rose by 5.5 points in February, reversing the 3.1-point drop recorded in December. The reading suggests that more firms are expecting an improvement in their own activity over the year ahead. However, the February survey showed that investment expectations continue to deteriorate, with a net 10.6% of respondents expecting better conditions for investing in buildings, plants and machinery over the coming year, down from 14.0% in January.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist