The Auckland Chamber of Commerce has released the results of its latest Business Confidence Survey, revealing a moderate decline in business sentiment and a somewhat negative outlook among businesses.
The survey highlights a decrease in the overall level of business confidence in New Zealand, with 65.36% of respondents rating it as somewhat low or extremely low. While the current state of the New Zealand economy showed a slight improvement compared to the previous month, businesses expressed concerns about the future economic outlook.
Although the current state of the economy showed a slight improvement compared to the previous month, 74.77% of respondents still rated it as somewhat poor or extremely poor. This reflects a prevailing sense of dissatisfaction with the country’s economic conditions.
The survey found that 66.15% of respondents expect a somewhat negative or extremely negative impact on their businesses over the next 12 months. While there was a slight decrease from the previous survey’s result of 71.48%, the prevailing sentiment remains one of caution and concern. This ongoing pessimism reflects the challenges businesses anticipate in managing rising interest rates and the potential inflationary pressures that could strain profitability.
Despite these challenges, businesses displayed moderate confidence in their own growth prospects, with 39.88% feeling somewhat confident or very confident about their business’s ability to grow over the next 12 months.
Workforce planning indicated a tendency to maintain current staffing levels, as 59.19% of respondents intended to keep their workforce unchanged. However, businesses continued to face skill shortages, with 53.89% reporting difficulties in finding skilled workers.
When asked about the upcoming General Election, 42.02% of respondents felt somewhat confident or extremely confident that it would result in a favourable business environment for their industry. This sentiment reflects a cautious optimism among businesses regarding the potential outcomes of the election.
Regarding recent immigration policy changes allowing more workers into New Zealand, 55.35% of respondents stated that these changes had a neutral impact on their industry and workforce. This suggests that immigration policies have not significantly alleviated skill shortages or created additional challenges either.