New Zealand Business Confidence Near Record Low

New Zealand's business confidence weakened to a near record low in March, the business outlook survey data from ANZ Bank showed Tuesday.

The headline business confidence index decreased 45 points to -64 in March. A net 27 percent of respondents expect own business conditions to weaken, the lowest since the survey began in 1988.

Among sectors, the retail sector activity sentiment collapsed in March. Confidence in services and construction sectors declined by more than 40 points.

Further, the survey showed that employment intentions decreased 24 points to a net 23 percent and investment intentions fell 21 points to a net -14 percent. Capacity utilization, one of the best GDP indicators, dropped to -9 from +10.

Similarly, profit expectations declined 29 points and export intentions slid by 24 points.

Expected availability of credit fell 5 points. A net 39 percent of firms expect higher costs, down 14 points. Pricing intentions fell 12 points to a net 15 percent of firms expecting to raise prices. 

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