2 Mar 2013

Business confidence at 19 month high - survey

2:06 pm on 2 March 2013

Business confidence has risen to a 19-month high, with more firms upbeat about the year ahead.

The ANZ bank's latest business confidence survey for January showed a net 39% of firms were optimistic about their prospects, compared to a net 31% in December.

The survey shows a net 14% of firms expect profitability to improve, while employment and investment intentions have also risen.

ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie said factors contributing to this were signs of positive growth coming out of America and Europe and a pick-up in the property market in New Zealand.

Mr Bagrie warned a lift in business confidence has happened before and failed to translate into anything concrete.

But he said the fact there's also been a lift in consumer confidence suggests the business confidence may be more accurate this time.