17 Jan 2017

Business confidence remains solid

12:48 pm on 17 January 2017

Business confidence remains robust, giving the economy momentum heading into this year.

New Zealand money

Business confidence was widespread, but particularly strong in the construction industry. Photo: 123rf

The Institute of Economic Research's (NZIER) survey of business opinion for the December quarter shows a net 26 percent of firms expect the economy to improve over the coming months.

Confidence was widespread, but particularly strong in the construction industry.

The NZIER said skilled and unskilled labour shortages had started to ease in the building sector, helped by surging migration to New Zealand.

It said business confidence in Hawke's Bay, Wellington and Southland was strong. The recent Kaikōura earthquakes did not appear to have hit confidence in that region.

NZIER said rural regions were more upbeat as the dairy sector recovers with improved prices.

In terms of businesses outlook on their own performance, there was a slight easing in the December quarter when compared with the previous period.

Meanwhile, it appears pricing pressures are building, with firms expecting a modest pick-up in inflation over the coming year.

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