28 Nov 2011

NZ firms 'getting on with it' despite weak global growth

7:32 pm on 28 November 2011

Business confidence has edged up, despite weaker global growth.

The National Bank's monthly survey of business sentiment found optimists outnumber pessimists, with a net 29% of companies expecting their own business to grow in the next year, compared with a net 26% expecting an improvement last month.

National Bank's chief economist Cameron Bagrie says confidence has held up reasonably well, despite Europe's debt crisis and weaker global growth.

"When you look at the global backdrop, I think it's pretty encouraging to see the fact that New Zealand businesses just seem to be shrugging their shoulders and, to be honest, just getting on with it."

But Mr Bagrie says the picture is still mixed.

More firms expect to be profitable and intend investing, but fewer firms expect to hire, and export intentions have declined.

Mr Bagrie told Radio New Zealand confidence has held up reasonably well, but Europe's ongoing debt crisis could still trip it up.