Business confidence has rebounded to mid-year levels, continuing last month's mild upswing.
The National Bank of New Zealand's Business Outlook for November shows 33% of firms expect better economic times over the coming year, up nine points from last month.
Firms' outlook for their own prospects also improved, with 35% expecting better times ahead - up four points on last month.
The bank's chief economist Cameron Bagrie says the lift in sentiment is encouraging but the question is whether it will translate into investing decisions or hiring more staff.
Mr Bagrie says he expects the Reserve Bank to keep the official cash rate on hold at 3% until the second quarter of 2011.