Business confidence has rebounded from six year lows - but firms remain gloomy about the economy.
The ANZ Bank's latest business outlook survey found pessimists still outnumber optimists in September.
A net 19 percent of respondents expected the economy to get worse over the coming year, compared with a net 29 percent expecting a deterioration in the previous month.
More firms were upbeat about their own prospects, with sentiment among farmers recovering from a record low, while construction and manufacturing also rose.
The bank's economists said the survey indicated the economy would grow modestly, at about 2 percent.