New Zealand small and medium-sized enterprises are set to
outshine their Australian counterparts across several key
measures this year, MYOB says in its latest BusinessMonitor.
New Zealand SMEs expect to outperform on confidence, revenue
expectations and sector-based growth.
The MYOB Transtasman Special Report highlights New Zealanders
are enjoying some of the highest levels of confidence seen
over the last decade.
MYOB chief executive Tim Reed said this year both New Zealand
and Australia enjoyed the prospect of improving economic
''Here, the effects of the Canterbury rebuild and growth in
Auckland, combined with the rural sector's performance, are
underpinning what is likely to be one of the most significant
and sustained periods of growth in the country's recent
The comparison report, created as part of MYOB's
BusinessMonitor, highlighted Australia's SME economy falling
behind New Zealand's last year, he said.
In the year to August 2013, 39% of Australian SME operators
reported a fall in revenue while just 18% recorded a revenue
increase. In contrast, 30% of New Zealand SMEs reported an
increase in revenue in the year to August and 24% saw their
For Otago-Southland businesses, in the 12 months to August,
30% saw a rise in revenue, 32% saw a fall and 34% were
For expected revenue in the 12 months to August 2014, 41% of
Otago-Southland SMEs expected a rise, 15% expected to be down
and 37% expected the same.
''Otago-Southland is following the same trend and
considerably outstripping Australian SMEs on expected revenue
this year,'' Mr Reed said.
Nationally, the differences were evident in the relative
performance of key sectors. New Zealand's construction,
retail, manufacturing and rural sectors were all expecting to
outperform those in Australia.
The Australian manufacturing and wholesale, and construction
and trades industries expected to show some of the lowest
growth when compared to other industries. Only 17% of both
sectors expected annual revenue to increase.
By contrast, in New Zealand, two of the sectors expecting the
best performance in 2014 were construction and trades and a
resurgent manufacturing and wholesale industry. Nearly 60%
the manufacturing and wholesale sector expected to see
revenue increase in the year to August 2014, the largest of
any sector, while 44% of construction and trades businesses
The effect of the exchange rate would likely have a major
impact on the two economies, both internally and as trading
partners, Mr Reed said.
''If the Australian dollar continues a gradual downward
adjustment - without falling off a cliff and creating
widespread uncertainty - it will likely become a trigger of
improved performance across the business community.''
There was no doubt the continued strength of the New Zealand
dollar created a more challenging picture for exporters, he
A recent HSBC Australia report stated the New Zealand dollar
''may surpass parity against the Australian dollar for the
first time in four decades''.
With the core drivers of the economy remaining strong, there
was unlikely to be a significant adjustment to the kiwi in
''As long as the value is tied to positive underlying
fundamentals, it is likely to be a challenge SMEs are happier
to live with.
''BusinessMonitor respondents ranked fuel prices as the
number one pressure, and any relief in this respect will be
In the 12 months to August 2013, Australian businesses
experiencing falling revenue far outweighed those in positive
territory. Nearly 30% of Australian SME operators reported a
fall in revenue while just 18% recorded a revenue increase.
Putting this into context, the proportion of operators
reporting a revenue fall has been steady over three waves of
the MYOB BusinessMonitor - 31% in May 2012 and 39% in
In New Zealand, 30% of SME operators reported an increase in
revenue in the year to August 2013, while 24% saw their
revenues fall. The proportion New Zealand operators reporting
a revenue fall had also been trending steadily down over
three waves of the BusinessMonitor - 30% in May 2012 and 27%
in February 2013.