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Business activity remains steady

Embargoed until 10:45am – 28 April 2008

Business activity remains steady

The proportions of businesses requesting finance, investing in expansion or undertaking research and development have remained relatively constant since 2005, Statistics New Zealand said today. These are just a few of the results from the Business Operations Survey, run annually since 2005. The survey collects a wide range of information on business practices and behaviours that impact on business performance.

Survey results from 2007 indicate a stable trend in many indicators of business activity. Twenty-nine percent of businesses requested additional debt finance during the last financial year, while 11 percent requested equity finance. Twenty-one percent of businesses invested in expansion and seven percent undertook research and development. All these results were at very similar levels in both the 2005 and 2006 surveys.

Rates of innovation also remained steady, with 47 percent of businesses recording some type of innovation activity over the last two years, a slight decrease from 52 percent in 2005 when innovation results were last collected.

The 2007 survey collected for the first time a range of data about different types of international engagement. These showed that 20 percent of New Zealand businesses had generated some form of overseas income in the last financial year. The most common source of this income was from sales of finished goods, but income from services was also significant. Forty-four percent of businesses with overseas income gained this from sales of finished goods for use by other businesses, while 38 percent gained overseas income from provision of services. In contrast, the most common form of purchases from overseas was raw materials, components or equipment used by the business (44 percent).

A detailed report on innovation in New Zealand will be released in July 2008, with further international engagement results released later in 2008.

Geoff Bascand

Government Statistician

28 April 2008


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