National Bank's closely watched monthly survey of business sentiment found confidence halved in June.
Only a net 13% of respondents in June expect business conditions to improve over the next year, compared to a net 27% in May.
The chief economist at National Bank, Cameron Bagrie, says confidence has been falling since March.
"The (Christchurch) rebuild is just around the corner - so I think there is a lot of hope there within the construction sector," he says.
But Mr Bagrie noted that sector was coming off a low base, and builders might say things would get better because they couldn't see how cashflows could get any worse.
And in the agriculture sector, farmers were expected to be a little more conservative in how they managed their cashflows over the next six months.