Better in relative terms, but still well and truly down in the dumps. That's the initial reading from the ANZ Business Outlook for May.
This is the statement from ANZ:
The preliminary ANZ Business Outlook data for May saw a small bounce across all forward-looking activity indicators, but levels remain extremely low.
Business confidence jumped 21 points to -46 while own activity lifted 13 points, with a net 42% of firms expecting lower activity for their firm in the year ahead.
“All forward-looking activity indicators lifted from April levels but they remain extremely weak. Backward-looking indicators are deteriorating. Pricing and cost indicators remain very subdued,” said ANZ Chief Economist, Sharon Zollner.
“Deflationary pressures remain evident. Expected costs remain near lows, pricing intentions are still negative, and one-year-ahead inflation expectations are at just 1.28%, a record low.
“As New Zealand emerges from a highly successful lockdown there’s a glimmer of light, but it’s at the end of a very long tunnel. Reducing virus cases to negligible levels sharply reduces a huge downside risk for businesses, but it’s clear that very tough times nonetheless lie ahead.
“The economic damage wrought by the lockdown is only starting to emerge; Level 2 still isn’t ‘normal’ for many businesses; and the global situation remains dire.”