Still feeling confident: New Zealand businesses positive about the year ahead

New Zealand businesses continue to feel like they are in a rock star economy, with confidence about the future remaining at record high levels for the month of April.

The ANZ has released its latest figures on business confidence in New Zealand, revealing the mood is still high for the year ahead.

Optimism about the economy is up despite a fall in four major sectors of the economy: retail, manufacturing, agriculture and construction. Positive attitudes in the services sector has meant a net 30 per cent of firms believe businesses will keep growing and turning a profit throughout 2015.

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Expectations of firms on increasing their own activities in the next 12 months is now double the historic average, at 41. The intention of businesses to hire more staff is also positive on the index, reaching 22 points.

Not all the news was going in a positive direction. Some categories on the index saw a slight easing, including profit expectations, which fell by 4 points. Investment and export intentions also fell but continued to remain in positive numbers.

ANZ has warned about potential spoilers to the projected 3 per cent GDP growth many analysts expect for the country this year. These include the persistently high New Zealand dollar and low dairy payouts affecting the incomes of farmers. Moves by the government to clip the wings of a soaring Auckland property market also pose a serious risk to sentiments of household consumers.

Auckland’s residential property market is the topic of much discussion over the wealth of the nation. However, the rising dairy land prices and drops in commercial property yields were also noted by ANZ as worthy of more attention from government.