1 May 2014

Green shoots encourage optimism

7:53 am on 1 May 2014

Optimists continue to outweigh pesimists in the ANZ Bank's latest business confidence survey.

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The monthly survey shows a net 65 percent of firms are opimistic about general prospects in April, down two points on March, but still at an elevated level.

Confidence across some of the sectors has eased back, with firms' activity expectations regarding their own business dropping to 53 percent, from 58 percent.

While expected profitability fell for the second month in a row, coming in at 36 percent, the bank says at that level, it still bodes well for investment and employment.

And a net 30 percent of businesses expect to be hiring more staff, which compares with the historical average of 7 percent.

ANZ says the economy appears to be firmly expanding despite financial conditions tightening, and New Zealand remains on track to be one of the strongest performers in the OECD.