Company directors are less confident about the outlook for the economy over the next 12 months and a little more downbeat about their own prospects, according to the annual survey of the boardroom by the Institute of Directors.
The survey showed a net 17 percent were positive about the broader economic outlook, which compared with last year's net 29 percent.
They are a good deal more positive about their own organisation's outlook, though it slips slightly to a net 62 percent optimism from 65 percent.
The biggest worries are weakening global growth, potential disruption to their businesses and red tape - the Resource Management Act was singled out in particular - while burgeoning health and safety requirements were also cited.
The directors also said it was getting tougher to find the right staff.