Global economic uncertainty has forced many New Zealand firms to take a more realistic view of their growth expectations.
That's according to ANZ's annual business barometer, which quizzed over 4000 privately-owned companies during February and March.
It found that while 96% of them expect growth over the next three years, those expecting their company to grow by more than a quarter has dropped from 55% in 2008 to 14% this year.
ANZ commercial and agribusiness managing director Graham Turley says firms are definitely more cautious now, but they've also been surprisingly resilient during the downturn.
He says 88% of respondents still expect some positive growth.
Mr Turley says the latest survey is showing much more realistic and sustainable expectations.
He says for example a lot fewer companies expect to grow by 25%, but the number of companies which are expecting to grow by 5 to 10% is similar to what it was last year.
Mr Turley says it's probably due to people being cognisant of what's happening in Europe, and even the slow down in Australia at the moment.
He says retaining staff, skills shortages, and government red tape were again cited as major challenges.