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Confidence Survey: Pessimism Eases Slightly

BNZ Confidence Survey

0800 ASK BNZ 0800 275 269 www.bnz.co.nz

Pessimism Eases Slightly

Our monthly survey of Weekly Overview readers elicited 276 responses and showed a net 45% feeling pessimistic about the economy over the next 12 months. This is an improvement from a net 51% last month and is in fact the best result since early March. But pessimism clearly still dominates and this makes sense when one considers the strong margin pressures businesses are under, difficulties in getting resources, uncertainty surrounding the election, and high exchange rate

When commenting on conditions in their own industries we found the following main threads

Shortages of labour continue

Horticulture – lots of expressions of concern re the current state of the industry and where it is headed

Farming – looks OK with a mix of positives and negatives

Construction – strong currently but signs of slowing ahead

Manufacturing – generally difficult

Commercial real estate – very strong Residential real estate – nothing horrible, mixed comments on general easing side

Retailing – mixed, not as negative as last month’s survey

BNZ CONFIDENCE SURVEY

Net % expecting the economy to be better in the next 12 months

Survey Date Better % Same % Worse % Net % # of respondents # of comments
17 February 20.3 41.1 38.5 -18.2 423 -
3 March 17.2 40.2 42.6 -25.5 687 224
17 March 8.5 36.5 54.9 -46.4 550 294
31 March 6.1 27.7 66.2 -60.1 393 201
13 April 6.0 31.8 62.2 -56.3 336 165
28 April 6.2 25.6 68.2 -62.1 340 185
12 May 7.2 35.2 57.6 -50.3 304 148
26 May 6.1 35.8 58.1 -52.0 179 81
7 July 9.0 31.3 59.8 -50.8 502 279
4 August 7.2 40.2 52.5 -45.3 276 166

INDUSTRY COMMENTS SUBMITTED BY RESPONDENTS

Accounting

- Chartered Accountancy: Continues steady; ongoing concern from investment portfolio clients re Cullen’s proposed change to capital gains accrual taxation. Is clearly at odds with Trustee Act 1956 (as amended) over prudential investment (i.e. risk diversification.) Why should prudent investors be penalised by Cullen’s insistence on xenophobic focus on solely NZ based investments when such denies sensible structural risk diversification. Even Cullen’s Fund diversifies overseas to risk spread. I cannot see why this has not been focused on by investment community - has the Government muzzled financial planners ?

- Chartered Accountant - better in next 12 months

- Shortage of skilled staff is still a key issue plaguing the industry. Cost of high quality staff has gone up 20-25% over the last year and still rising. Demand for services provided by the top end business professionals is at its historical high. With high growth in sectors such as Management Accounting, Financial Accounting, Business Consulting, Internal Audit and Business Development. Further, the lack of staffing is compounded by skilled staff find greener pastures in Australia and UK

- Chartered accountant. Transport clients showing signs of underperformance due mainly to fuel costs which will lead to ongoing price/cost rises. Loggers working on survival. Silviculture report significant drop in pine plantings. Our best switched a few years ago to Macrocarpa, oak, walnut etc

furniture/finishing timber. Farmers ok but wary of costs with reports of pines for the chop rather than prune

Advertising

- Broadcasting –Advertising. With Xmas trading due to kick in it looks as though or clients are holding back and fact is that this stream of revenue is changing that retailers like customers are holding back until the Boxing Day sales. The forthcoming election is also I believe a reason why things are slowing as well

Agriculture

- Dairy - Grass growth excellent coming off year of good payout, confident Fonterra will deliver more than estimated $3.85

- Agribusiness: Where have all the cow boys gone? - Staffing shortages main problem

- Dairy. Things have not changed re payout (advance) for the last 3 years, yet our fixed costs such as power, fuel, compliance have increased rapidly, leaving little in the system for any discretionary spending. The only light on the horizon at this stage is that it is a better season production wise

- Very Good. Agricultural spare parts

- I am a dairy farm Veterinarian and farmer confidence appears to be high. They are spending however we are already starting to see the effect of higher oil prices, with Fonterra quoting the cost as going to have a significant impact on company profits translating to lower farm incomes. In addition to this the cost of commodities dairy farms consume are inflated due to transport costs. There is obviously some hedging assuming that while China & India consume oil, they should also consume dairy products

- Sheep farming is powering ahead in Eastland

- Main concerns. Fuel costs. Flow on effects particularly in a tight employment and capacity market

- As most farmers have upgraded essential plant over the last few years there is no urgency to replace machinery. They are a little nervous at their escalating costs (oil prices, fertilizer prices, labour cost etc.) and are reluctant to borrow with any surplus money being used to repay debt. Most are still cautiously confident, with the prospect of a weaker dollar increasing product prices and land values still very strong

- Sheep & Beef. Fall in NZ Dollar looks promising to keep export schedules at higher levels though rising costs (especially fuel) look set to negate any gain in income

Art industry

- Visitor numbers to the gallery and sales have increased post school holidays. Talk is that is still generally slow..will be good to have the elections behind us

Boat Building

- Things are picking up in the production boat building business, although suppliers have been quick to lift prices on the back of the weakening NZD

Business Consulting

- The expected slow down from last week until the election has started, especially at retail, flowing back to wholesale and importers. High Tech and rural companies concentrating on exports are enjoying growth against the domestic trend which is slowing down

Construction

- Residential building is slowing but there is still plenty of work. Commercial is very busy and shows no sign of peaking yet

- As a practising architect, am part of the building industry - things are flat out, people are still making money, but architecture is not a get rich industry

- Property development - looks to be flattening out, perhaps the property market is taking a breather

- Residential building is slowing but there is still plenty of work. Commercial is very busy and shows no sign of peaking yet

- Building - slight decline

- The Commercial construction market remains strong with the outlook for medium term in Wellington bullish. Significant projects are being deferred due to labour shortages constraining the market

- Commercial Construction - extremely busy at present but talking to Consultants who are usually working roughly 12 months ahead of Contractors a slow down is on the horizon for 6 to 12 months time

Debt Collection

- NZ is steady whereas AUS has seen noticeable increase in debt load

- We appear to be getting busier which indicates businesses are not waiting as long to register debts (i.e

they might come to us when they are 60 days overdue, whereas 12 mths ago we weren’t seeing them until they were 90 days overdue)

Early Childhood Education

- Very shaky, particularly with present Govt policies

Education Exports

- Tertiary education international Student numbers still heading down, especially from China. Some increases from other countries though not enough to offset the decline. Some promising trends starting to emerge. Increased marketing seen from other institutions into countries other than China

- The number of students is decreasing due to strong NZ currency and insufficient overseas promotion

- If the dollar slips away we should see some increasing interest in studying in NZ

- The export of education is clearly on a down turn. This not due so much to the high New Zealand dollar as it is to other countries offering a more attractive package for foreign students. English language training, which has been one of the mainstays of the education export sector, is and should always have been seen as a short term earner. In the long term, we need to have more foreign students undertaking tertiary and post tertiary education in New Zealand. Present and projected government policy on tuition fees appear unlikely to help this. Many other countries have fee waiver programmes in place that are a real draw card for students. Moreover, many of these countries offer good career paths for such students following their education programme. New Zealand is notoriously bad in this respect

Electrical Wholesale

- Whilst we accept there is a slowing of the economy, there is also a backlog due to skills and resource shortage. This will keep us very busy going forward and I believe, to the point where the economy will take off again!

Electricity

- We are still receiving quotes from the Asian region for materials at $US0.72 they appear to have more confidence than us Kiwi’s

Emigration

- Life is good in London. The student loan is decreasing fast ($42K to paid off in one year). Even a promise from Aunty Helen of no interest on student loans if you stay in NZ can’t match the wages in London even with the value of the high dollar. This buying of the election won’t stop the brain drain

Energy

- Good - oil and gas production

Engineering

- Consulting is still buoyant and the election year activity pushes along projects in the infrastructure sector which were previously bogged down - will we see another "bogging down if the government is returned? If we do it is not efficient for planning in a sensible way to get these projects done - our economy needs a no of projects to be done (especially the electricity and transport sectors) if it is to continue to grow

- In engineering supplies the trend compared with corresponding month last year continues to be up with last month tracking 11% ahead. Interesting that the trend for the year is tracking downwards at present each month even though sales exceed previous year in each month

- I am in the light engineering industry in a high growth area (Tauranga) and I have operated this business for 24 years. I have been through the pain of Rogernomics and the Post 87 debacle BUT, we have experienced this year the longest "Drought” in my company’

Finance

- Banking Industry: The credit off take has not really slowed down yet, but with rising inflationary pressures I am sure it shall show downward trends in coming days

- Banking industry – steady

- Banking - a lot of regulatory work taking up resources

- Finance - slow down in debtor payments noticed by clients, and a noticeable drop in the number of house sale transactions, and our first mortgagee sale pending since 1998/99. The slow down is here!

- Buoyant. Best sales months for 2 years. Industry is Mortgage Reduction Plans

Financial Planning

- Fall in NZD very helpful; finance coy issues affecting those practitioners who have committed themselves holus bolus into the role of "debenture salesmen"; no affect (thus far) from election issues

- As a financial planner I am getting calls from clients wanting to get out of NZ Shares. The general feeling is that the sharemarket has done it’s dash and whether or not this stacks up with sharebroker’s advice, they want to move to fixed interest

Fishing

- The seafood sector is still very depressed although the processing sector has improved it’s performance probably at the cost of the resource sector

- Fishing industry: Cost of petrol will add to costs eventually which will mean a rise in prices while the high NZ dollar makes exports less profitable

Flooring Retail

- Is going OK in the Wgtn Region apparently - we are finding consumer demand still outstripping installation capacity. Material availability is still very good, indicating manufacturers/importers are accurately predicting consumer trends & demand OR there has been a softening in market demand OR both

Forestry

- Interesting developments in forestry with regards to seedling and cutting production at a nursery level due to Rayoneir buy CHH forests and possible sale of international paper assets

- Forestry, wood products – bleak

- Sawmilling: Very grim, intense competition for a reducing market

- Logging Contractor. Fuel is the only rising cost affecting us at the moment. Production is down a bit due to demand for logs from sawmills and low export returns. I am expecting things to get better with the dollar easing a bit

- Forestry. Domestic lumber markets are oversupplied. Export log markets are picking up rapidly as ocean freight rates tumble. Domestic log prices will come under pressure unless more lumber is exported

- Sawmilling/Forestry Industry still depressed, high dollar, high shipping rates, intense competition from Chile, labour shortages, Carbon Tax, fuel price, RMA etc

Horticulture

- Not good...Apples

- Growing apples, Kiwifruit, Hops, blackcurrants, Boysenberries. Also Packing and coolstore above

Reduction in Vol of apples. Impending oversupply Kiwis. Exchange rate, over valued Kiwi

- Pipfruit The marketing is a disaster. Growers are going to go to the wall

- Pipfruit industry is now entering a period of crisis with returns to growers at an all time low. Cash flow in the industry has dried up and growers face some very hard decisions in the next few weeks

- Despite what your last survey said about the Kiwifruit industry not being adversely impacted on by the high dollar this is contrary to what is happening. The per tray price this year will be lower than last year mainly due to the strong NZ dollar or so we are told by Zespri

- Costs are escalating across the board which means that food costs inevitably will rise. We are endeavouring to find alternative ways to heat our glasshouses, and are more conscious of transportation costs. In the end people have to eat, and we will be fine

Hospitality

- I expect sales to be less next year over this year due to the extremely positive impact the Lions supporters have had on this business despite the non smoking laws

Human Resources

- Extremely difficult to get new employees, especially those that read and write/understand English, require because of building health and safety inductions

- Recruitment Industry - opportunities continue to flourish although for many temp clients this is their quiet time of the year in terms of staffing requirements. The temp opportunities especially for warehousing and manufacturing will start to build in September, growing steadily towards a Christmas peak. The perm placement market is still very strong reflecting the effects of the low unemployment and an increase in the number of businesses now using agencies for their permanent employment needs

- Recruitment - the last 2 weeks has seen a pick up in the number of job orders for both permanent and contracting roles, and there seems to be some freeing up in the availability of better quality candidates

Small changes only, but noticeable all the same

Information Technology

- Have been waiting since March to see a downturn from last 12 months. We can see now that some June quarter revenue was pushed forward spending for companies with a June year wanting to spend their "use it or lose it" budget, which affects the sub-$50k end of the market. So we expect Sept quarter to be slower and after that the election result will impact investment. Right now however the IT recruiters are saying they’re still busy as ever and that’s a growth signal. Wait and see Oct

- Funnily enough the industry is booming (IT Services and Consulting)

- Computer software industry. Expecting little change

Land Development

- Land development consulting in Wellington - still very busy and can’t get enough qualified staff to do the work

- We have a lot of work on the books waiting for local authorities to process Resource Consent. Particular problems with Environment Canterbury. Even more land is waiting for infrastructure to be upgraded by the local authorities. Local govt moral is at an all time low and they find it very hard to find staff

Legal

- As a solicitor this year has been quite different. The conveyancing has been far more steady and somewhat slower

- Things have gone very quiet. Very few property deals coming through. Relying on people dying for good paying work

- Law Firm - Hamilton - very busy with demand for our specialist services overloading current resources

- Nelson legal--steady with some uplift since school hols

- Still busy but can be patchy on the commercial front from time to time. It means that we are not always flat out

- Steady as she goes. Insolvency work up, property work steady. New borrowings are becoming more structured, which is usually a sign things are turning for the worse

- LEGAL - As a solicitor this year has been quite different. The conveyancing has been far more steady and somewhat slower than other years. Most of our conveyancing has been in the under $500k bracket

Conveyancing is also far more difficult than previously with buyers being more cautious as a result of the leaky homes issues and as a result of dealing with councils. It is not a simple clerical exercise as some politicians and some lawyers who offer cheap conveyancing services seem to think. Our fee level remains up but that is largely resulted from what I would call negative work - a number of clients who have experiences financial difficulties. This has emphasised the need for "prior" asset protection and risk minimization

Local Government

- Very difficult to get skilled labour in Local Government. Large workload on Long Term Council Community Plans with little perceived benefit to Ratepayers

Manufacturing

- Metals Manufacturing and Energy Equipment. Forward work now very short, a good first quarter (to June) but order intake has been dropping steadily for the past 5 months

- Kitchen and Bathroom manufacture. July 10% down on same month last year. Most areas of ordering down - our customers reporting retail enquiries weaker and more price consciousness

- Clothing manufacturing accessories. Lot of pressure from China

- Kitchen and Bathroom manufacture. July 10% down on same month last year. Most areas of ordering down - our customers reporting retail enquiries weaker and more price consciousness

- Kitchen joinery - Plenty of work in the pipeline but the pipe keeps getting stretched out. Mainly due to red tape delays with consents, inspections and in the case of new developments, processing of Certificates of Title

- Textile Manufacturing - increasingly more difficult to compete with imports from the likes of China & India

- Electronics Manufacturing. Slow but looking better September through to December. Most of our customers export so they are finding it harder to be competitive. Costs keep increasing and margins are getting tighter due to increased pressure from cheap Chinese imported products. Only two customers have moved to China for their manufacturing in the past 12 months, one has returned due to quality issues

- Still difficult to find factory labour

Market Research

- Things are flat/constant, compared to earlier in the year, possibly influenced both by the election and end of year approaching. That said, the market is still way ahead of the same time last year and resource constraints, especially people, remain a major choke on growing volume. The people merry- go-round, while good for employees, adds significant costs in recruitment and training with no up-side in business efficiency or revenue growth

Meat Industry

- Market prices still strong. Costs rising in many areas. i.e. labour, freight, packaging, regulation

Medical

- A little slow this week

Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals

- Script numbers appear on a downward trend given mild winter to date - retail cough and cold treatments sales minimal

Public Relations

- (Wellington) While we had a great first half, we are not now so busy because of the lead up to the election. If this Government is returned, I predict the $NZ to head south and times become much tighter

If National wins, then business confidence should improve

Pulp & Paper

- Depressed due to exchange rate

Real Estate - Commercial

- Industrial property leasing and land sales - Plenty of enquiries over the last couple of weeks, both from existing business and also start-up

- Commercial property investment and development [$1-5 million]. Land prices are high construction costs are high. This market is being pumped by second and third tier banks lending with little security to their over optimistic clients. A big shake out can be expected if any of these marginal banks are unable to keep attracting depositors

- General commercial activity around Auckland seems to have picked up again this month, judging by the degree of gridlock. It had eased off a bit for a few months. My pick is that the next lot of figures out (or the next again, depending on reporting delays) will show strengthening

- Commercial Real Estate - North Shore. Demand for warehouse/office mix still good but stock low due to high land prices therefore developers find insufficient margin to build. Office space to lease or buy still in demand (no panic to sign up though). Owner occupiers looking in all sectors as feel better to own than lease. Doing a bit of "crystal balling", believe the economy will drift down somewhat due to fuel prices but if there are more bomb scares overseas feel NZ may be seen as a "safer refuge" & consequently place pressure on property?

- Property Development. Business is not bad, although patchy buyer interest, sometimes next to nothing then suddenly a big rush. We are quite happy with state of market but definitely see Buyers wanting better prices even if marginal discounts. good demand for commercial and industrial property still evident. Although this is probably due to shortage of good propositions

Real Estate - Residential

- I sell real estate in the Queenstown market and have been here for some time. Realistically in the residential market $500,000 to $700,000) there will be some quite significant price reductions. Primarily, the market has got ahead of the ability of the purchaser to afford the property. However, those houses around the $400,000 and less will always sell quickly while those properties in the millions will find a buyer no matter what the economic market, providing of course they are premium properties

- Real Estate - this week there were definite signs of a pick-up in the city fringe areas. The moment spring looks like arriving, people tend to start thinking about putting properties on the market. It feels more positive than it has done for a month or so

- Residential Property Investment - Hamilton is still running high but odd sales are taking longer. Perhaps just normal winter. Everyone wondering if a change of Govt will make any difference

- Real Estate Sales Queenstown. However if Labour gets in and puts on the proposed CGT on overseas investments I would expect much of the money to come back into NZ into the share market and also property and especially here

- Residential property - sales slow, buyers holding off as prices gradually slide. Vendors still have an unrealistic view as to attainable prices, those who adjust sell, those who don’t hold. Seems to be an attitude of "we will wait and achieve our price", though it’s not happening

- Residential property investment. Still plenty of tenants available. Rents seem to be rising still in Wellington. Building costs and property values still rising much faster than rents making returns dismal but capital gains satisfying

- Expecting a soft landing after a hectic couple of years in the South Auckland marketplace

- We are experiencing a "normal" winter market where listings are short, the drive to get them by salespeople is competitive, and the use of incentives "to get the business" is increasing. Buyers remain in the market waiting for properties to come available. In reality it is a good time for buyers, because those that are on the market either want to sell, or need to sell, so are more realistic

- Broker business stabilised in May and June - picked up again in July. Residential sections still without title means a catch-up later this year and we expect a good finish to 2005

- (Residential property investor) I am seeing a gradual lessening of the rental vacancy rate in provincial New Zealand towns. Rents per week are between 30% and 40% higher than they were 3 years ago

Front-page headlines in newspapers highlight rental shortages for tenants. I believe these shortages will persist and rents will continue to rise, restoring residential rental yields

- The residential rental market is past the highs of the previous few years and back to normal winter conditions. That means that houses and flats are slow to rent at the moment as tenants stay put until the weather warms up. The building boom is taking a while to slow, putting more stock on the market and could soon cause problems for landlords of older houses

- Residential real estate Pakuranga/Howick prices holding up well, volumes similar to last year (very good), just had our quietest week volume wise for this year - normal; huge demand from buyers of 3 br houses $300,000 to $350,000 and nothing to offer them. Listings a bit on the low side

- Real Estate Agency Christchurch. Market lacking previous urgency but seasonal low anyway, short of listings, buyers cautious. All will be revealed in the spring market!

Retailing

- Retail trade has slowed down by about 10%. Toy market

- Retail Toys & Cycles. With the US$ high and resulting falling retail prices the squeeze on unit margin is real. Competition often does not allow you to increase your % MU

- We are a small retail clothing chain with women’s fashion in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. We manufacture 95% of our product in China and have so far had a very positive year. We also have a wholesale division and this appears to be showing signs of slowing. At present we are still confident that our own retail will be strong for the next 6 months

- We are a furniture supplier going well and have been for some time. Provided you service and support your customers with good competitive product then there’s good business for everyone

- Retail Jewellery. We have experienced strong growth throughout the year until June when we expect a quietening off period. We did not achieve our monthly sales target and the slump extended into July where we had a very disappointing result. August is slow to start but better. We will be very cautious in our next few months as we observe the markets behaviour

- In retailing consumers believe that with the dollar expected to fall in value next year price increases are on the horizon. Even if it means borrowing a bit extra they think it is worth it to sustain their purchasing levels

Roofing Industry

- (Reroofing & recoating) Seasonal activity, 165,000 homes in Wellington’s 5 cities, people just keep on coming, however the average Kiwi is unable to write a cheque for 7-12 k so there is a lag between enquiry and purchase... however is not really a "discretionary" spend eh ??

Shipping

- Steady but volumes off compared with beginning of year. NZD’s recent weakness adding slightly to costs

Steel Industry

- Fixed ore price plus global price hike = expansion = $... Some local benefit vs. shareholder profit(foreign?)

Telecoms

- World Demand For Telecomms infrastructure is good, trend is strong for outsource to low cost countries such as our organisation. Still plenty of other up and coming small businesses

- Telecommunications - always busy and very competitive on price and bundled services. TelstraClear’s decision on rolling out a 3rd mobile network (or not) is potentially very significant. Awaiting Commissioner’s decision on Telecom broadband wholesaling with interest - it could have a major impact on participation in this market by other telco’s. Note: I am glad you have pushed the survey out to monthly. Anything less is just too short & frequent to reflect trends/changes

Tourism

- Poor ski season is having a real impact on Australian arrivals and in turn related visitor industries. After strong growth in Winter seasons over the last 3 years the slowdown is becoming noticeable in Gateway cities like Christchurch

- Tourism is variable but still robust

- I am in the tourism industry, on the active adventure side, and expect a 10-20% growth from last summer season. The reason for this is Americans should be travelling more as they will not be subject to the election propaganda of last season

Transport

We received these detailed comments from an industry participant a few weeks ago and include them here

- “- We are continuing to see firm year on year system growth in freight volumes and are confidently forecasting this into next year

- NZ businesses are starting to wake up to the benefits of Third Party Logistics (3PL) and a couple of the larger players even looking at 4PL

- The election and 06 census are driving a little cottage industry of their own, great for transport and courier (probably wider than just transport but also print and associated logistics management)

- The larger corporates all seem to be focussing on major cost reviews at present, I think they are recognising that the economic growth in recent time may have made them slightly lazy in managing costs, they're going hard a costs other than staff at this stage

- Fuel and Road User Tax increases are a major impact. Expect the increases in the past 12 months to almost permanently be factored into price moving forward

- Recruitment remains challenging. Couriers in particular, the guys can get franchise opportunities that require them to work less hours than we expect. We've recently approached BNZ to look at financing options to help younger guys get into a van and therefore business as a way to encourage more talent into the industry

- We are seeing no stress in our debt ledger at this time

- Cross town traffic in Auckland sucks! and is getting harder for our couriers - drives more depots, lower rotations for delivery, lower service, more costs.......” End of detailed comments

- Rural Road Transport. Very high costs. Fuel, Wages (Hol.Days Act) esp. Difficult to fully pass on in this very competitive industry

- With diesel prices increasing it is difficult to recover the full cost, this coupled with an acute driver shortage and increasing compliance cost cast dark clouds over an otherwise busy transport sector

- Road Transport. Considerable concern over ability to be able to recover fuel cost increases quickly enough. Fuel adjustment factors are here to stay

Used Construction Equipment Industry:

- Typically things are positive, however we do find that forward thinking is influenced by some of the short term negative reports that come through the news media & other organisations. The reality is that generally work levels are high, staff availability is a problem and the continued negative attitude influences strategic thinking in terms of capitalisation of equipment. The net result in these circumstances is that job costs to end users/transit etc rise due to risk ratios contractors have to apply and the sheer cost of using old equipment

Used Vehicles

- After being totally pessimistic in the May June period, July has seen us very busy although hard to retain decent margins. Over supply of product is leading to heavy discounting and can’t continue.( Used Vehicle Sales)

- Autoclassics: classic car sales and service. Enquiries and sales holding up. Believe people still want their toys/fun/little luxuries. Positive attitude also seems to be holding up. Many comments such as "things could be worse - let’s enjoy what we’ve got".

- I am in the vehicle industry. June July have been two very strong months in new vehicle sales. However used vehicles have been very slow for the last three months

- 2nd hand motor industry - sales have been very poor for last 6 months. Competing with too many back yarders with no o/heads

Valuation

- Things slightly quieter over past month or so in property valuation industry but values still holding up fairly well - Cental North Island area. June, July and August traditionally less busy months. Forthcoming election will also be causing punters to hold back a bit

Wine

- We are in the Marlborough viticultural industry, issues are: shortage of both skilled and unskilled labour, shortage of electricity in outer lying areas, resource management cost both in time and money. Positives are high demand / prices for wine, USD falling below 70cents, land prices continue to be buoyant, unfortunately the positives may not last long and the negatives are likely to stay around for some time

The BNZ Confidence Survey is run on the first Thursday of each month. In the Weekly Overview email sent to the 8,000 non- BNZ email addresses on our database respondents are asked to click on a URL which takes them to a survey site

Respondents are asked if they feel the economy will get Better, Worse or stay the Same over the next 12 months

Respondents may also make comments if they wish. Results are collated each Tuesday and released that night in this publication to media and WO readers

This publication has been provided for general information only. Although every effort has been made to ensure this publication is accurate the contents should not be relied upon or used as a basis for entering into any products described in this publication. BNZ strongly recommends that readers seek independent legal/financial advice prior to acting in relation to any of the matters discussed in this publication. Neither the Bank of New Zealand nor any person involved in this publication accepts any liability for any loss or damage whatsoever that may directly or indirectly result from any advice, opinion, information, representation or omission, whether negligent or otherwise, contained in this publication

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