9 May 2011

Confidence hits 18 month high

1:52 pm on 9 May 2011

Business confidence has reached an 18-month high as firms and households pick themselves up after the Canterbury quakes, a survey has found.

The BNZ Confidence Survey shows a net 42% of respondents expect the economy to be better in a year's time - the most optimistic reading since December 2009.

The result is a vast improvement from last month's result, which showed a net 14% expected better times ahead and a turnaround from March when a net 21% expected conditions to deteriorate.

BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander says the results show February's earthquake dented confidence only temporarily.

Tony Alexander says sentiment is strong in the farming, agricultural, forestry and manufacturing sectors but remains extremely weak among retailers and lawyers.