New Zealand small-to-medium-sized businesses are much more confident about the economic outlook than their Australian cousins, a survey shows.
The survey by accounting software firm MYOB has found 43 percent of New Zealand businesses are expecting an increase in sales this year, with only 10 percent expecting their sales to fall.
By contrast, only 25 percent of Australian businesses are expecting their sales to increase, while 22 percent are expecting a drop.
MYOB New Zealand general manager Adam Ferguson said New Zealanders were enjoying some of the highest levels of confidence in the past decade.
"Our research indicates the performance of kiwi business and their confidence levels are outstripping their Aussie counterparts," he said.
That was being driven by a number of things, including strong performances in sectors such as construction, retail, manufacturing and rural.
The expectation of a 43 percent increase in sales was a great sign for New Zealand business, Mr Ferguson said.
"Australia continues to grow, not quite at the pace that it has over the past few years .... and it is important to New Zealand that Australia continues to perform well but in terms of a New Zealand context, kiwi businesses are very positive coming into 2014."