31 Mar 2020

Business confident at record lows - ANZ survey

5:37 pm on 31 March 2020

The latest ANZ monthly business confidence survey has plunged to record lows.

ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner.

ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner says there is no respite in the near term. Photo: RNZ / DOM THOMAS

Headline confidence slumped to a near record low of a 64 percent pessimism level, while the more closely followed own activity measure had a record 28 percent saying things will get worse over the next 12 months.

All the main activity indicators - exports, profits, investment, and jobs.

ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner said there was no respite in the near term, at least from the unrelenting gloom.

"Times are grim. We've never seen such a broad economic shock strike with such ferocity. Firms are right to be alarmed."

Sentiment got worse as the month went on, and compared with a headline pessimism level of 53 percent in early March, and just 19 percent in February.

The individual business outlook stood at 13 percent pessimism early in the month and 12 percent optimism last month.

Zollner said uncertainty was now the big enemy of businesses, which cannot see when the crisis will reach a bottom and how long any recovery will take.

"Both fiscal and monetary policy are leaping into action but a severe recession is guaranteed."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs