The BNZ confidence survey has hit another record with a
net 69% of the 577 respondents expecting the economy to be in
better condition in a year's time than it is now, chief
economist Tony Alexander says.
Releasing the survey yesterday, Mr Alexander said the
December results were slightly better than a net 66% early in
November and 37% a year ago.
Only 6.2% believed the economy would be worse this time next
''As seen last month, the construction sector is in good
heart, accountants are more positive. But in residential real
estate, activity levels and price pressures have pulled back
as first-home buyers step away from the market following
imposition of the new credit controls.''
The number of respondents, at 577, was also back to levels
last seen in July.
June respondents numbered 763, the highest since at least
August last year.
Among the replies from respondents in December, there was
only one negative comment out of 17 from accountants, the
most positive outcome for several years.
Conditions were seen as much better.
Advertising, marketing and media comments were the same as
accounting and negative comments were now rare.
The agriculture and agricultural services respondents
provided all positive comments with a note regarding drought
Civil construction respondents were ''flat out'', and ''very
positive'' comments came from construction and
The hospitality sector was positive heading into the
Christmas period and tourism and travel-accommodation
comments were ''quite positive''.
Residential real estate respondents reported a reduction in
first-home buyers and reduced upward pressure on prices.
Sellers were moving rapidly away from using auctions.
There were still comments regarding listings being hard to
find. Investors were active in the market, although not as
much as before.
The sector provided nearly three pages of comment to the
survey results, Mr Alexander said.
The retail and wholesale sector provided more positive
comments than usual but there was still an air of caution,
suggesting retailers had seen many false upturns in recent
A net 10.7% of the respondents felt happy house prices were
rising, little changed from a net 13% feeling happy last
When asked whether they were considering borrowing more money
for their business in the next three months, respondents
showed no improving trend for their business investment plan.
A gross 26% of respondents were thinking about borrowing more
money, unchanged from November.