An export-led recovery is slipping further away as business confidence declines.
The latest survey of business conditions by the New Zealand Manufacturers & Exporters Association shows confidence fell to negative-27 in August, down 10 points from the previous month.
At the same time, sales decreased 26%. Exports led the decline.
The association says businesses are pessimistic. Chief executive John Walley says many expect to make a loss or just break even this year.
However, he says there are some pockets of demand emerging in the automotive and leisure industries where orders are picking up.