Business confidence about the economy has slipped, though companies feel slightly better about their own prospects.
A monthly survey by the National Bank found a net 14% of respondents expect general economic conditions to improve over the coming year, compared with 16% last month.
A net 27% of respondents expect trading to improve over the next year, compared with 25% last month.
However, National Bank chief economist Cameron Bagrie notes that hiring and investing intentions have eased.
He says the results are consistent with annual growth of 3%, but is concerned that companies may retreat into their shells.
Inflation expectations fell below 3%, which Mr Bagrie says indicates the increase in GST on 1 October won't have a lingering effect.