The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research believes the worst of the recession is over and the business outlook for 2010 is positive.
Business confidence in the December quarter fell slightly from the 10-year high recorded in September, according to a survey by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER).
However, of those surveyed, a net 31% of firms surveyed expected the general business situation to improve in the next six months, compared with a net 36% in the September quarter.
NZIER principal economist Shamubeel Eaqub says the recovery to date has been slower than firms initially expected, but businesses still have an optimistic outlook.
"The economy is recovering at a slower pace than firms expected earlier, but the worst is behind us and the outlook for 2010 is quite positive."
Mr Eaqub says the New Zealand economy is recovering slowly and gradually from the recession.