Business confidence is well off its highs, ANZ chief
economist Cameron Bagrie says.
Releasing the ANZ Business Confidence survey, Mr Bagrie said
optimists continued to significantly outnumber pessimists.
A net 43% of firms were optimistic about general prospects.
''While it's down 11 points this month, and 28 points off its
peak, it's still a huge 33 points above the long-run average
''Our economy-wide seasonally-adjusted estimate dropped seven
points in the month, so the onset of the colder months is not
It was not difficult to think of reasons why confidence had
waned, he said.
Interest rates were higher, dairy and forestry export prices
were sharply lower, the housing market was levelling out and
the dollar continued to defy gravity.
The level of confidence remained high by historical standards
but was starting to look more realistic, Mr Bagrie said.
That was natural when an economy moved into the ''glide
path'' associated with an economic expansion. There was no
reason to reach for the defibrillator, he said.
Other findings included. -
• Expected profitability had now been falling for four
consecutive months but the falls were getting smaller.
• A net 24% of businesses expect to be hiring more staff over
the year ahead, well down from a peak of 32% in February.
• Investment intentions moved up from 23 to 26.
• Export intentions were their lowest in a year.
• A net 52% of firms expected an uplift in residential
construction activity and a net 36% rise in commercial
construction - both down on the previous month.