After a couple of months of decade-low business confidence figures, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is not expecting a major bounce when ANZ’s figures are released later this week

After a couple of months of decade-low business confidence figures, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is not expecting a major bounce when ANZ’s figures are released later this week

The Prime Minister is not expecting business confidence numbers due out this week to show a significant bounce, saying it’s more of a “slow burn.”

On Wednesday, ANZ will release its monthly measure of firm’s optimism which has been at decade-low levels since Coalition talks were underway last year.

In October, 39% of respondents said they were pessimistic about the year ahead – the lowest level since early 2009. That was a decline of 29 points on the month prior.

The story was not much better in November when the Coalition Government was announced, with 38% of businesses saying they were pessimistic about the year ahead.

There was no survey done in December, so Wednesday’s numbers will be the first indication if business jitters have turned.

At her weekly Post-Cabinet press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she does not have high expectations to see immediate jumps in the data.

“These things sometimes are a bit of a slow burn. I don’t have high expectations for us to see immediate jumps – that’s something this government will be working diligently on over time, regardless of what the numbers say.”

She says for her, it’s about making sure businesses are feeling reassured about the Government’s future agenda and its planned involvement with businesses.

“We want to work collaboratively on some of the issues that we’re looking at going forward; there are real opportunities within our housing areas, within the areas around environmental sustainability, regional growth.”

Early indications suggest business pessimism is subsiding, with an ASB research note forecasting “some recovery” in the numbers.

It says the November figures were likely just “knee-jerk” reaction to political uncertainty.

ANZ cannot comment on its expectations, but in a note say although confidence remains negative across all five sub-sectors, firms’ views on their own activity did bounce modestly, with a net 16% upbeat on their own prospects (up from +7%). That does, however, remain below prior levels of the historical average (+28%).

“The question ahead of the February figures is therefore whether or not the factors that appear to have weighed on sentiment (political uncertainty and soft housing market activity) have continued to do so.”

Elephant in the room

Ardern addressed the low business confidence numbers when talking to business people in Auckland earlier this month, calling them the “elephant in the room.”

“There is some hope - particularly in the fact that confidence, as it relates to businesses’ individual activities, is still high. And given that’s the marker that bears the most correlation to GDP growth, then I think we have some cause to feel at least comfortable with those numbers,” she says, adding that “we’re probably okay.”

She says previous Labour Government, such as the Clark-led Government of 1999-2008, also struggled with low business confidence numbers, despite having a good record of economic growth.

Strategic Risk Analysis Limited managing director Rodney Dickens has slammed these surveys for having a political bias and being out of whack with reality. 

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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70 Comments

Labour's reaction to business confidence crisis is exactly as National's reaction to housing crisis.

To sum up, any NZ's political parties' reaction to issues that they cannot solve or not willing to solve is just to keep blind eyes to them and lie to the public that no issues here, move on.

That tendency might not be limited to NZ political parties.

Seriously?
Of course why would,there be more business confidence?
The coalition has done nothing whatsoever to improve the confidenc?
The coalition is not made up of successful business people so,what would you expect?

What about the elephant lecture?

That's a sort of something.

THE MAN 2, but the Government is leading in the polls.

You blaming the Government for failing business confidence is as numb as blaming Gordon for falling Christchurch property values.

And poppy it's a pity for you that you still can't even afford to buy a house in chch

Houseworks, ha-ha-ha, wrong Island and I am truly honored to have you as my personal Troll ;-)

Do find that happy people worry you?

I was gonna reply to your whole message about interest charges and owning a house outright but you deleted half of the message. Did you feel you revealed too much?

Nope, I've commented on this in other threads ;-) I just decided it's not appropriate to prove anything to you. The trolling me bit I feel comes with the territory so I'm okay with that.

What stands out is that it seems none of your comments contribute anything positive. They are laced with sarcasm and through poor research and are void of truth, especially on matters such as CGT!

Again, are you uncomfortable around happy people?

Yes I am hahaha :)
I want to turn that question around retired poppy and ask You, are you happy around comfortable people? A simple yes or no will do. Don't qualify your answer and exclude property investor

Yes ;-)

I only have little tolerance for the materialistic. I've found they are tight with their money and tend to take advantage of others at every opportunity for personal gain. Some people think they are of a "higher order" because of their wealth.

At least that's what I've found in my short life as a 52 year old.

Having money and being comfortable is not the problem, its the fake person who has the money thats the problem.

You have Warren Buffets of the World and you have Philip Greens of the world. Which are you, the materialistic show pony with a big gut, and slick back comb over or the man who lives in a modest home in Omaha who will give away most of his money.

You must have over a billion to be so confident that you have more money then some on this site to ask such a question.

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How can there be Business confidence when there’s a crackdown on spruiking houses for quick profits ?
How can policies around rental housing improve business confidence ?
If only Jacinda opened the immigration gates wider & rescinded the draconian laws that force foreigners to hold a NZ tax number & a pesky NZ bank account too
This sort of thing destroys the business confidence

Haha, nice one

NorthernLights, fair comment however I think the market was heading into cool down mode through LVR restrictions, two year Brightline and cautious bank lending on both sides of the tasman. (under Nationals watch) I think that with the Government riding high in the polls is a yes from voters impressed with the coalitions performance. I would suggest there are other factors at play affecting confidence such as difficulties gaining access to bank funding, online trading wiping out main street retailing. Add into the mix equity is no longer increasing the easy way in Auckland, that will dampen consumer spending too. The Government's intentions towards immigration are a welcome step in the right direction - they won my vote. Closing the huge wealth gap problem is a bold undertaking for our Government. Landlords are squealing, businesses paying the minimum wage are squealing but the people are voting ;-)

Wait for it, blaming our Government for the effects of GFC2 will be the Spruikers next tactic.

Why are you obsessed with “business experience” as a condition to competent government? Donald Trump is The Greatest Businessman Ever, hows he working out? And you make out you are a Very Successful Property Investor, yet I wouldn’t trust you to rearrange my sock drawer?

Mr Trump is working out very well.
The US economy is booming and his approval rating is growing.

omg. The US is on the brink of social chaos, the so called boom funded by tax cuts they cant afford with the debt kicked down the road to the young. They have trillions of liabilities falling due re retirement funds which they cannot fund. They are one sick baby with one sicko president.

" They have trillions of liabilities falling due re retirement funds"

To level this as a criticism of the current US President is largely invalid for at least two reasons:

1. every country in the OECD has the problem so it can't be attributed to the US alone:
https://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/16/rich-countries-have-a-78-trillion-pensio...

"The total value of unfunded or underfunded government pension liabilities for 20 countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — a group of largely wealthy countries — is $78 trillion, Citi said.."

2. these liabilities have been accumulated over the decades before he was President so he can't be the cause.

Rastus you cannot grow an economy by taxing it!

... surely that would depend upon the total % take by the tax man , out of the economies GDP ...

And it would depend upon the tax mix ... ours ( NZ ) is dominated by taxing the productive sector .. businesses and wage earners ... that is no way to grow an economy ...

..who says you can? When you give tax cuts you either tax elsewhere or reduce outgoings. The Trump tax cuts do neither - they are effectively allowing the present to be funded by a much heavier tax burden on future generations.

If business confidence is important, and Fletchers is one of New Zealands biggest businesses, which based upon performance there is no confidence in, then why do we care whether business has confidence in government, when public has no confidence in business?

(or can business act inefficiently/ineffectively/incompetently and still give view on what government policy is best regardless of how well their own bed is made?)

Does that mean business is more important than public, but when at election the people decided that public was more important than business?

Oh what a twist you played there Independent Observer!
Next you will be telling us that the private sector is hazardous to the public sector!

Labour are doing a great job and will be in power for several terms if Jacinda is there as leader. Don’t blame Labour because you are not diversified as an investor.

The only way to be a diversified investor and survive under this coalition is to invest off-shore. Oh and keep a current passport handy ready to do a runner from this communist crowd.

Labour and Jacinda need to take the wrap on this one.....she is naive if she thinks confidence will grow slowly.
Matter of point does Jacinda address you as Comrade Gordon?

Oh no, Businesses aren’t confident! Oh no, Property Investors aren’t confident!

Is that because Labour are making moves to steer the country off the low wage, generation rent path we are slowly heading down?

Quick, shut up your shops and sell your rentals!

It is a business confidence survey, nothing to do with property investors.

Look, you can read it here:
https://www.anz.co.nz/resources/9/0/90decfc8-d6dd-4aca-8cb2-8e59cff51296...

Well, yeah but I broadened the scope of my comment to include Property Investors because there was an article today going on about how their confidence is bouncing back.

So from that report, retailers are losing confidence big time because our 2 biggest export earners “mortgage debt” and “home ownership” look like they’re going to slump. Might be time to get into an industry that produces something rather than exports (in exchange for cheap plastic consumer goods) the very dollars that others have borrowed from overseas lenders (Aussie banks) to pay for overpriced crap boxes.....and they still have to pay that money back with interest!

So ... if people have cheaper housing and smaller mortgages they'll have discretionary income to spend on goods and services, but businesses are freaking the eff out over this because reasons? It's pure sour grapes.

Biggest exports, property ownership and mortgage debt, best quote this year. As an spinoff we can add educated kiwi youth paying tax in Aussie as they give up on the security of home ownership in NZ.

Employment intentions at -3, that's not good either.

With leaders of NZs biggest businesses like Fonterra & Fletchers no wonder there’s little confidence
Leadership at the top a little “shakey”
NZ business just a old boys club
Not a lot changed from days of import licenses handed out to mates

Funny that, I am sure I've heard landlords state that their rentals are businesses

Pocketaces do you know you have a lot in common with the retired poppy ?

Yes, and a number of other posters here. Do you know that you have a lot in common with TM2 and Eco Bird and a few others?

The numbers will come out and the fx / bond markets will yawn. Why PM bothers to concern herself with such a survey , few will.

CowsPatty
Exactly
NZs new government is performing rather well
The dark ages are over

Comrade Northern Lights....I keep hearing that this government is performing well......please entlighten me as to exactly how you came to that assumption?

Typical characteristic of losers is to make excuses and shrug the shoulder when they anticipate failure ... other typical behaviour is to only look and ask for what suits them and tell the customers to otherwise suck it up !!...

There will be a lot of that going forward as they slowly, but surely, lose steam and support for failing to achieve what was promised and wasting time looking for scapegoats !!

I am sure most businesses are soooo looking forward for the new Unions' employment bargaining powers and new industry standards....as well as min wage increase and the new budget in April and May .... All of which will be distinguished milestones on the business confidence scale.

Tragedy is a genre of entertainment too, but very sad to watch.

Hasn't it been you telling your customers to suck it up while you do what suits you? (renters?) But its okay for you to give judgement on other people while doing the same?

No I haven't ! ..... and seems that I have just touched a nerve ...lol ...dishing out false claims seems to be your new attributes nowadays ...

I told my Auckland customers that their rent will go up by 1.9% for the next 12 months, Hamilton customers 2.1%, and others are varied but less than 2% .... That is hardly telling them to suck it up ! .. And I look after them because they are all great people ....I do hand pick my customers and sort out the good tenants from the losers very early in the piece ...

So, squash your anger and turn some of it on your mates in Gov .... try holding them to account instead of blindly supporting them for doing nothing!

No need for exclamation marks if we're talking about touching nerves Eco Bird....it just highlights the soft spots...

The boiling frogs approach to rentier capitalism?

Sadly, the frogs will always jump when the rent gets too hot.

Eco Bird, you can not call bad tenants losers!!

They generally,have nothing of any value to lose!

They rely on government handouts and it is always someone else’s fault!

You can clearly see the ones who voted for the parties that make up this coalition.

It will take awhile for them to see that the promises and ideas will not be achieved and that they are totally incapable of running the country successfully.

What have they actually achieved since they have been in power that they stated they would do?

Tenants are landlords employers right, given that they pay them their weekly salary?

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It all comes down to how you quantify running a country successfully.

If you measure it by the amount of shrieking and moaning coming from gormless rentier parasites then they are doing just fine.

How on earth is a tenant an employer?
A landlord provides shelter for their tenants that don’t want to own a property.

lol, don't waste your time The Man2,
some just enjoy trolling and provoking others on this site ... they just have a Landlord complex ... I am sure it does give them a bit of satisfaction and relief when they do that ...

And of course you're on this site to provide independent, unbiased opinions on money matters and markets right?

Stay deluded, it'll help you sleep at night

Enjoy your day .... begging

You seem to be particularly rattled by me, all the name calling and attempts at belittling. A bit pathetic but oh well, I have broad shoulders. Please note that when I am not commenting, I am out working, which I do because I enjoy it, my body needs the activity and my head enjoys the interaction with others.

Funny, you told us that now you're 50 you were too old to work

I'm pulling your strings.....but regardless here's something to think about....

When someone pays you a regular income, then generally speaking that person would be your employer.....so who pays your regular income? Tenants employ landlords to provide them with a product/service and pay them a weekly/fornightly income for their work...I need a house with this many bedrooms, for this amount, in this area, for this period, in this condition - landlord please go arrange this house for me. I pay you money to make that product/service exist and if I'm unhappy with your work, I find another landlord that I can pay to provide me with a better service/product....

So one way of looking at this, one that I prefer, is that yourself and Eco Bird work for 'losers' who can't afford houses....(not necessarily who don't want to own property - there's a difference). Talk about bottom of the barrel stuff...

They're customers, and it always surprises me the level of arrogance from Landlords to their customers. Maybe it's got something to do with the title?

I prefer the name darklord, it appears to be a better fit - unless of course they lighten up and realise they are running a business in what is supposed to be a competitive industry so in theory they should be respectful towards their customers and providing a service at a fair price - unless of course they are just simply exploiting the situation and operating as a cartel with price fixing - which would to me would be a breach of our Business Competition laws and would be something that the Commerce Commision would need to review.

But again that couldn't possibly be happening because we don't need the government to intervene in the 'private sector' by paying out excessive amounts of money in the form of welfare and accommodation supplements right to keep the cartel above the water?

You've misspelled that again. D-O-R-K-L-O-R-D.

from DORKLAND

Mining confidence booming in Aussie. Hiring up. Mining in NZ, not so much. Not many left of these high paying jobs in the regions.

In *theory* we are for high paying jobs. In *practice* we are against any activity that might create them.

If it damages or destroys our [often] pristine environment or is exasperating CC then yes if that is what we so choose.

A case in point.

From my own personal experience archive. Tenants are hard working people too. They give there blood, sweat and tears. Landlords do what they do best - LEACH!

Outrage from retirement giants over proposed government ban on foreign investors - A proposed law change would ban multi-billion dollar retirement giants Ryman Healthcare and Metlifecare from buying any further New Zealand land without state consent, sparking an outcry from the NZX-listed businesses.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=1200...

For such a specific use I dont see that getting a consent would be a problem?

Then what is the point of the regulation then?

Retirement village (property) companies will have bigger concerns in the near term;

https://www.cffc.org.nz/latest-news/retirement-villages/what-happens-to-...