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Anne Boniface, senior economist at Westpac, points out that the New Zealand’s headline confidence fell from -24.1 to -30.9 and there was also a deterioration in firms’ outlook for their own activity, which fell from 13.6 in December to 10.5 in February.

Key Quotes

“Business confidence remains more downbeat than other indicators that suggest ongoing modest growth in New Zealand economic activity.”

“There was a deterioration across most activity indicators in today’s survey including expectations of profitability, employment, investment and export intentions.”

“Pricing gauges were mixed in today’s survey. There was a small drop in inflation expectations to 2.06% while pricing intentions rose a little.”

“The February survey period is likely to have predated the much of the recent discussion about the potential for a capital gains tax to be introduced following the release of the tax working group’s final report. However, with debate set to continue over March, as the Government considers its options, this could well be a feature of next month’s survey.”