The ‘feel-good factor’ in Wellington has held for two quarters at levels higher than at any time since comparable data was first collected in 2007.
The ANZ survey finds the capital more positive than at any time since comparable data began in 2007, and is the nation’s most upbeat region – followed by Canterbury (+26 per cent), the rest of the South Island (+27 per cent) and Auckland (+18 per cent).
Nationally, sentiment fell back for a second successive quarter in September but remains well above the historical average. Despite the general easing in confidence, investment intentions across the small business sector are at the third-highest level since 1999, and double the historic norm.Read more: Global Powerhouse: An interview with Carl Powell of Fletcher Building
This impact should not be underestimated, as small firms account for 90 per cent of Kiwi businesses and provide nearly one in three jobs.
“Businesses across New Zealand remain upbeat and are seeing positives in the current environment despite challenges such as higher interest rates, weaker commodity prices and a high dollar,” says Fred Ohlsson, managing director, retail and business banking, ANZ Bank.
“Their strong commitment to keep investing means they’re putting their money where their mouth is which will go a long way towards supporting sustained growth in the economy."
This impact should not be underestimated, he says, as small firms account for 90 per cent of Kiwi businesses and provide nearly one in three jobs.Read more: NZ’s primary industries that support the bulk of the economy are least prepared for cybersecurity threats
“Wellington is now leading the way, as its small firms play to their strengths in technology, smart industries and the creative sector. Nationally, manufacturing has also had a welcome boost while the service sector remains the most upbeat.”
At the same time, the survey finds regulation is the biggest challenge facing small businesses (cited by nearly one in five), followed by low turnover and lack of skilled staff.
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