14 Apr 2015

Businesses optimistic on economy

11:42 am on 14 April 2015

Business confidence has dropped slightly but businesses are reportedly still feeling optimistic about economic conditions.

The Institute of Economic Research's March quarterly survey of business opinion shows firms' confidence falling slightly from the December quarter.

Trading activity eased slightly in the quarter, but the Institute said that is consistent with annual economic growth of just over 3 percent for the year to March.

It said despite the slight drop, businesses are optimistic about the economy overall.

Senior Institute economist, Christina Leung said there are a number of factors driving that optimism.

"We've got an environment of low interest rates. The housing market is going strong so that's good for the people who have houses and we've seen the effects of that flow through to increased retail spending," she said.

"Employment growth is also going pretty well, so overall these factors conducive to growth in the New Zealand economy."

Christina Leung said firms' trading activity, which is seen as a mirror to economic growth, eased a touch in the latest quarter.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs