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Michael Gordon, analyst at Westpac, notes that the New Zealand’s business confidence improved marginally in April, but remained close to its recent lows.

Key Quotes

“A net 38% of firms were downbeat about the general economy. Own-activity confidence improved slightly to +7%, but remains well below its long-run average.”

“Beneath the broadly unchanged headline, there were mixed results across sectors. Manufacturing and agricultural firms were more upbeat than in March, the latter likely helped by rising dairy prices and an easing of the dry conditions in late summer. Against this, confidence fell further in retail and construction (especially residential).”

“Pricing intentions and expected inflation were little changed compared to March. Expected costs fell, but ANZ noted that a change to the wording of the question meant that it was not comparable to the previous month.”