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Confidence Figures Encouraging - Cullen

"The June National Bank business outlook showing a net 32 percent of respondents expect activity in their own businesses to expand over the next 12 months is encouraging," Finance Minister Michael Cullen said today.

"Most commentators regard the own activity measure as more accurate than the
survey on general business conditions, although this has also stabilised and remains in positive territory."

Dr Cullen was particularly heartened by the continuing bullishness around exports: 43.9 percent of those surveyed expected real exports to increase, 50 percent thought they would continue at current levels, and only 6.1 percent thought they would drop.

"The latest balance of payments figures showed a significant improvement in New Zealand's external accounts. These results - plus the much stronger than expected merchandise trade surplus announced yesterday - would suggest that trend will continue," he said.

Ends

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