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Clouds over business confidence start to lift


Media Release August 3rd , 2000

Clouds over business confidence start to lift

The northern Employers & Manufacturers Association's monthly survey of business conditions shows the clouds over investor confidence could be starting to clear with stronger export sales reported, and rising domestic turnover.

"The stand out features from our latest business conditions survey are the signs that investors are recovering their confidence, and the Employment Relations law presenting a major and growing worry," said Bruce Goldsworthy, the director of EMA's Manufacturing Division.

"Export turnover was 20 per cent higher than the same month a year ago, but more importantly just now, survey respondents are indicating they are more prepared to invest in equipment and training than they were last month.

"Matching these key indicators is the significant lift in the percentage of respondents expecting profits and business confidence to improve. 71 per cent now think both these indicators will stay the same or improve, up eight points since last month though well short of the 85 per cent plus figures earlier in the year.

"The sense of anxiety over industrial relations has been growing steadily all year to reach a new high. Without the sharp drop in investor confidence earlier in the year, an entirely different track for the economy would have been established anyway.

"Concerns over the exchange rate have tapered off though they remain as high as ever over interest rates."

Further comments: Bruce Goldsworthy tel 09 367 0948 (bus) 09 522 2723 (hme )


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