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ANZ Business Micro Scope - Dec 2015 print Print

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Rebound in confidence bodes well for a prosperous 2016.

Fred Ohlsson, ANZ’s Managing Director Retail and Business Banking, outlines findings from the latest ANZ Business Micro Scope survey of small business confidence.

Rebound in confidence bodes well for a prosperous 2016

Small firms expect to do more business, lift investment and hire more staff in 2016 as confidence rebounds strongly into the New Year, according to ANZ’s quarterly Business Micro Scope survey of small businesses.

Business confidence across New Zealand’s small firms rose to +14% in December, reversing a dip to -23% in the previous quarter.

Fred Ohlsson, ANZ’s Managing Director Retail & Business Banking, said: “Small firms finished last year strongly and are telling us they see a prosperous year ahead in 2016.

“Perhaps the most promising thing about this new wave of optimism is that it’s broad-based, with sentiment improving across all five sectors, led by Services, and across all major regions.

“Underpinning this are notable improvements in firms’ expectations for their own activity, employment, investment and profit. These are key drivers of economic expansion and bode well for the performance of small businesses and the broader economy in 2016.

“Small firms account for 90% of Kiwi businesses and employ nearly a third of all New Zealand workers. What owners are telling us is an important indicator of New Zealand’s prospects for the year ahead – pointing to new jobs, investment and growth in the Kiwi economy.” 

Read the full report (PDF, 162Kb)

Highlights from the December 2015 ANZ Business Micro Scope survey of small firms:

[Net percentages reflect the balance of sentiment – i.e. positive minus negative responses]

  • Small business confidence rebounded sharply, lifting to +14% from -23 in September. The composite measure (taking in own activity, employment, investment and profit expectations) lifted 9 points to +16%. 
  • The South Island outside Canterbury (up 22 points to +27%) is most optimistic, with Wellington (up 13 to +26%) the most upbeat out of the main centres. Auckland and Canterbury recorded modest gains.
  • Sentiment rose across all sectors, led by Services (up 11 points to +24%). Construction had the biggest turnaround (up 16 to +18%). Manufacturing (up 7 to +16%) and Retail (up 4 to +14%) were up modestly. Agriculture (up 10 to -5%) remains slightly negative, though markedly improved. 
  • Regulation, Low turnover, Competition and Lack of skilled staff were ranked as the big four challenges facing business owners over the coming year, with each cited by between 14% and 18% of respondents. These have regularly been rated the top four challenges in recent years. 

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