28 May 2009

More signs of growing business confidence

7:34 am on 28 May 2009

There are further signs that confidence is slowly returning to the business community.

The National Bank's monthly look at business confidence shows optimists now outnumber pessimists.

A net 4% of firms expect their prospects to improve over the coming year.

The figure is a turnaround from the net 4% in the previous survey who were expecting things to deteriorate.

But firms still expect lower profits, to invest less and to lay off workers.

The pessimism is not as pronounced as in April, although the higher New Zealand dollar and weak global demand have knocked exporters.

National Bank Chief Economist Cameron Bagrie says the worst appears over, although confidence remains fragile.