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ANZ Business Micro Scope - Dec 2013 print Print

ANZ Business Micro Scope is a quarterly report which captures the views of New Zealand businesses employing 20 or fewer staff.

Canterbury leads NZ’s rising business confidence

The latest ANZ Business Micro Scope report shows a record wave of business activity is set to sweep across the nation in 2014 being driven by a swell of optimism from the South Island.

Retailing, agriculture and manufacturing are leading a lift in optimism which has seen firms’

expectations of their own activity, hiring and profitability for the coming year soar to new highs.

 “Construction and agriculture are caught in the tail wind of the Canterbury rebuild and increasing commodity prices. But optimism is at or near historic highs across all major sectors, paving the way for a broad-based uplift in business activity, employment and economic growth,” said Fred Ohlsson, Managing Director Retail & Business Banking.

Read the full report (pdf (156kB)

Highlights from the Dec 2013 ANZ Business Micro Scope survey of small firms:

  • Confidence is at its highest since comparable data was first collected in 1999, with record numbers of firms expecting to up activity, hiring and profitability in 2014.
  • A net +45% of firms expect to lift business activity in the coming year, double the long-term average. A net +17% plan to take on more staff and +29% expect profits to rise.
  • Confidence in Canterbury (up from +21% to +27%) is spilling into the Rest of the South Island (up from +21% to +30%) which now leads the nation. Auckland firms continue to gain confidence, reaching a new high for the region of +24%.
  • Services is the most upbeat sector, at +25%. Retailing recorded the largest lift in confidence (from +14% to +22%), followed by Agriculture and Manufacturing. Agriculture was the top sector for profit expectations for the first time in two years.


The ANZ Business Micro Scope is a quarterly indicator which focuses on the prospects of small businesses acrossNew Zealand. The survey was launched in March 2012 to address a lack of ongoing research specific to the small business sector. The Micro Scope covers a range of key business intentions and views on prospects for both respondents’ own businesses and the wider economy. Figures released today cover the quarter to 30 September 2013.

The survey takes in responses from 250 firms, comprising micro (up to 5 staff) and intermediate sized businesses (6 to 20 staff). The sample is taken from the ANZ Business Outlook survey, which covers micro up to large businesses. Comparisons from before March 2012 are calculated by extracting corresponding data on small businesses from that survey, which goes back to December 1999.

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