New Zealand business confidence slips in Q2 as economic growth eases

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Wellington, New Zealand (4E) – Business confidence in New Zealand fell in the second quarter as economic expansion moderated, according to the Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER).

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the percentage of firms that were optimistic in the quarter through June stood at a net 33 percent, compared with a 20-year high of net 51 percent in the March quarter, the survey showed.

Monday’s results also showed a net 31 percent of businesses expect improved economic conditions in the upcoming quarter, lower compared with the previous quarter’s net 35 percent. Meanwhile, a net 15 percent said there was an increase in activity in the second quarter, down from the first quarter’s reading of 24 percent.

Companies experiencing profit growth in the latest period dropped to a negative 4 percent from the previous quarter’s positive 3 percent, driven by a slowdown in sales volumes.

The survey is in line with moderating economic growth from strong levels, as the annual gross domestic product (GDP) eases to 2.8 percent in the second quarter from 3.8 percent in the previous quarter, according to the NZIER report.

The survey comes as the country’s Reserve Bank is expected to increase the benchmark interest rate in July, after three previous increases this year.

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