Business confidence in New Zealand is continuing to cool on signs the pace of the economic recovery is slowing.
The National Bank's latest monthly survey found optimists outnumber pessimists, with a net 28% of firms expecting their prospects to improve in the coming year.
That is a sharp drop from the previous survey's net 40% expecting better times ahead.
Firms' expectations about profits, employment and investment all declined.
National Bank's senior economist Khoon Goh says companies have been spooked by Europe's debt problems, a weak domestic economy and rising interest rates.