The feelings of ease about New Zealand's growing economic
dependence on China took a battering in August following the
Fonterra milk powder scare, BNZ chief economist Tony
Releasing the latest BNZ confidence survey, Mr Alexander said
for the previous three months, a net 44% of survey
respondents had each month said they were happy about the
country's economic relationship with China.
''This month, that proportion has dropped to a net 28%. This
is still a firmly positive result but the decline provides us
with the only evidence of how our thinking ... may have
changed as a result of the poison milk worries.''
Even though New Zealanders were less sanguine about the
relationship with China, and parts of the country had been
disturbed by earthquakes, optimism about where the economy
would be in a year's time remained strong, he said.
A net 57% of the 582 respondents were optimistic, compared
with 59% in August and 56% in July. Confidence remained
steady at a high level.
On house prices, the net percent of people feeling happy
house prices were rising fell in August, to 11% from 17% in
The result was above the average for the past four months of
9% and suggested support for measures which might strongly
suppress the housing market might not attract a lot of public
support, Mr Alexander said.