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Confidence Falls To Four Month Low

8 August 2011

Mission Statement
To help Kiwi businesspeople and householders make informed financial decisions by discussing the economy in a language they can understand.

The results here come from a monthly survey of over 25,000 Weekly Overview readers.

Confidence Falls To Four Month Low

Our monthly BNZ Confidence Survey has found that only a net 22% of respondents now expect the economy to improve in the coming year compared with a net 45% in early July and a record net 57% in early June. The survey responses largely came in on Friday after sharemarkets fell sharply overseas but before the Standard and Poors downgrading of the US credit rating on Friday night our time. Few respondents however mentioned explicitly their concerns about the global economic environment and one suspects a broader theme in play may be some growing disappointment that the domestic economy has not yet displayed the strength some may have been hoping for.

There were however quite a few expressions of concern about the high exchange rate, little mention of interest rates, hardly any comment regarding the state of the labour market, and few comments suggesting that the past month has been substantially better than the previous ones.

In the retailing sector caution dominates, in residential real estate buyers remain generally hesitant but listings are in short supply, and in construction experiences are highly disparate.

One or two respondents noted that the approach of the Rugby World Cup appears to be putting some people off making decisions.

For individual industries responses can be broadly be summarised as follows.

Cash still tight, a reasonable quantity of work available, but no obvious signs of nicely improving client base fortunes.

Advertising & Marketing, Media
Flat advertising generally it seems.

Good weather, few interest rate worries, commodity prices seen as generally good, but growing worries about the exchange rate.

Agriculture Servicing
Some signs of strength but overall no king hit suggesting farmers have truly opened their wallets.

As mixed as ever but with some areas of strength and hopes for very strong activity related to Christchurch rebuilding.

Very little credit demand.

Things have toughened up with log prices down around 30% and timber demand still light.

Slight improvement evident.

Mixed to improving.

Not enough comments to say much given the diversity of the sector.

Three comments – all bad.

Property Development
High costs deterring activity.

Real Estate – Residential
A few more buyers appearing but they are reluctant to commit, activity levels remain low, while listings remain in short supply.

Still soft overall but fewer tales of absolute woe than in past surveys and some respondents noting conditions improving.

Tourism and Travel/Accommodation
Highly mixed responses perhaps reflecting the wide range of different source country exposures. General concerns about the currency, some dubiousness regarding the Rugby World Cup.

Vehicles & Automotive
Slow still.

Survey Date Better % Same % Worse % Net % # of respondents # of comments
4 February 2010 53.5 29.7 16.8 36.8 555 344
5 March 49.7 35.8 14.5 35.2 523 347
26 March 55.3 31.0 13.8 41.5 436 263
7 May 50.9 31.9 17.2 33.7 501 329
11 June 44.4 37.0 18.6 25.9 549 394
8 July 32.7 36.5 30.8 1.8 542 405
5 August 31.2 36.3 32.6 -1.4 565 398
7 October 42.0 33.8 24.2 17.8 607 421
5 November 47.5 32.8 19.7 27.8 467 318
2 December 42.0 34.4 23.6 18.4 521 339
3 February 2011 43.3 35.6 21.1 22.2 540 401
3 March 22.4 34.4 43.2 -20.8 456 349
7 April 44.3 25.6 30.1 14.1 418 321
5 May 57.3 27.1 15.6 41.7 314 240
3 June 65.2 26.1 8.7 56.5 379 300
8 July 59.3 26.5 14.2 45.0 351 257
4 August 44.6 32.4 23.0 21.7 383 279

Full historical data at


We exclude comments which don’t say anything about current business conditions in an industry and are instead mainly rants and raves. Also those with comments that are chopped off or indecipherable, contain appalling grammar or are in capital letters are left out.

• Accountancy: Flat with little other than compliance work. Clients all feel Auckland economy is still struggling. If rural NZ is feeling better it has yet to show in Auckland.
• Small Auckland Chartered Accountant- Very busy with mainly compliance. Some clients working on reasonable sized deals
• Chartered Accountancy - debtors are starting to turn, but still client uncertainty - expect fees to be flat on previous year.
• Accountancy: At the present as a busy time of year it is good. customers eager to get accounts done for refunds and refinancing. By providing options for payment, holding costs we are finding that revenues are very good.
• Accounting Industry: Busy Schedule
• Chartered Accounting, Auckland - busy with tax season, returns still need to be filed, and business owners informed as to their results and areas for improvement, some clients slow to pay my fees, budgeting and financial discipline required across the industries - tax payments due later in August
• Chartered Accounting: Most clients bringing in work as usual, some a little later than usual. Some are doing better, some are just starting to feel the pain of the recession, others still struggling by.
• Accountancy and Consulting Very few opportunities for helping clients grow their businesses as they are so uncertain of their business futures.
• Chartered Accounting - Sth Island rural. Have had a run of bad news for clients recently so things are tough and getting tougher. Having said that, I think we may be near the bottom of the cycle.
• Chartered Accounting - still plenty of work, but cash very tight - much worse than usual at this time of year.

Advertising & Marketing, Media
• Advertising Agency - steady at the moment but it could go either way. So hard to project and make plans/commitments. Need to be bold. Not surprising to hear of Australian head offices businesses suffering locally from budget cuts in Australia as things impact over the ditch, even when performing well in NZ.
• Marketing communications & advertising: Off-shore billings tapering off by approximately 5% for three consecutive months. Local billings static.
• Market Research/Writing - Lots of work on, so all good for us.
• Slow in advertising distribution
• Advertising marketing is still flat, the work we do get tends to negative growth wise, like discounting, receiverships and rescue operations very little positive stuff.

• Dairy Farmer good at present focusing on cutting costs and repaying debt worried about next season payout
• Dairy Industry. Orders coming in thick and fast.
• Dairy costs out of control, returns falling because of high dollar
• Dairy Farming South Taranaki: Warm sunny day makes everything look much better. Grass growth has been less than average this winter which means that when the grass grows quality will be better than normal which will be reflected in milk production.
• Sheep industry - positive but the high dollar is a worry
• Dairy Industry. Spring looks like it will be a great one. Things looking OK payout wise but not 100% confident it will stay that way. Inflation will be our biggest challenge in the medium term in my opinion.
• Sheep & beef farming. Low interest rates, good pasture production, good commodity prices (c.f. historical)
• Sheep and beef, with the high dollar schedules are dropping back each week.
• Agriculture (Grain & Seeds) - only just better. Grain & Seeds have lifted from 12 months ago, but the high NZ$ means the imports of wheat, barley and others (PKE)will keep the lid on local pricing. Imports of machinery however are competitively priced and fuel pricing is reasonable.

Agriculture Servicing
• Fertiliser - farmers caught between cautiously optimistic but still real risks of downturn
• Animal Health - experiencing good growth. With stock prices high no short cuts are taken. The trouble is lack of sheep !
• Rural Service industry. Spending is only on the essentials at present, although there is some confidence, tax burdens are a concern as is the dollar and the effect it will have on returns.
• Suppliers to the Dairy Industry. I can't work out these guys. So many dairy farmers, who have the keys to multi-million dollar enterprises, run the like the world's about to wrap up and die. I have never seen such prolonged nervousness. Talk about 'just in time' makes manufacturing and logistics an exercise in patience and risk. Business is booming. Best ever. But it's still step by step, day by day.
• Industry: Agriculture repair. Farming clients are the biggest customer base in our industry, at the moment, all sectors are trading well, with higher than average lamb, wool, beef and milk solid prices, however, the US dollar is chipping away at the profits and the fear is the dollar remains high for some time, negating any positive price increases.
• Agriculture contracting. Slow but usually is this time of year.
• Ag Machinery Manufacturer Waikato: Still very lean, no pattern, extreme highs and lows. Hope to match last years turnover which was down on previous year.

Business/Management Consulting and Broking
• Consulting - more prospects are willing to sit down and discuss use of service. More jobs closing.
• Business consulting activity is expanding in Wellington. At last, Government Departments are doing something to reduce waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness. Good news for those that can help them do this.
• Business Broking - more quality listings appearing and marked improvement in last 2-3 months.
• Business consulting - somehow this present global meltdown is having a significant effect on my business whereas during the last 2 major events life carried on as normal, if not busier! Is it the election maybe?

Civil Engineering
• Civil Engineering. Good - big infrastructure spend by Govt., (election year?)

• Building work is picking up on the odd jobs and maintenance
• Housing. Residential EQ repair Canty. Huge amounts of work with more still coming. Margins are good & well ahead of past 3 years.
• Building bad
• Construction - busy at the moment but can see it getting slower and slower.
• Commercial Construction. Not much new work on the horizon.
• Building industry still tight with normal decline during winter. Not much change looking forward
• Residential Construction Napier - lots of interest and work is once again steady but still house to house rather than booked ahead. All positive signs.
• Light steel construction, Wellington. Current contracts are very good, forward work is looking promising, we are pricing several good projects.
• Residential building. The past 4 months are the worst ever. No enquiries, the phone is dead. Can not see it improving any time soon.
• Construction: New Plans under ways although still being prudent and watch surrounding real estate before we initiate the projects.
• Construction- Southland. Booked up till Christmas, complete opposite to this time last year, seems to be money around rural areas.
• Residential building. Our particular workload is picking up. xx is specialising in energy efficient housing and the order book is filling up as more buyers recognise the advantages.
• The construction industry is still in the Doldrums
• Building industry, still pretty bleak, month to month work, not many new builds
• Builder. There is a slight increase in inquiries for late year, but the rates people expect tradesman to work for are still too low.

Construction Related
• Building industry Wellington - Double Glazing Specialist. We are very busy at the moment as owners appear to be staying put so now spending money on their houses. Done a few leaky building repairs lately but expect more in this area coming up
• Central Otago Garage door company - above average numbers for July. Margins still tight but maintain market share
• Sub-Contractor to construction Industry. More enquiries coming through but still fragile and rates still tight. Have 3 months of work in front of us which is a major improvement from 12 months ago.
• Concrete and Masonry Production. Waiting, waiting for the green light for the rebuild to start up in Canterbury/Christchurch?
• Building and construction supplies - Uncertainty sums it up for me. Good days followed by bad with nothing you can hang your hat on.
• Electrical - work is steady with very small profit margins and limited longer term projects. Many businesses working day to mayor week to week.
• Plumbing Industry. Tough. And it has been for a long time it seems.
• Electrical Installation and repairs company. Installations are hotting up. E.g. New Irrigation pump electrical work, as well as hat pumps (after a mild start to the winter)
• Construction related retail in Wellington. Our customers have plenty of capacity. We are fully staffed and have people approaching us for employment every day, drivers, technical and trade staff.

• Education - international students. Very high numbers coming into Auckland for a period of up to 5 years...

• Very Promising (Oil & Gas)
• Electricity Generation. Demand is up on last year. Prices are holding up well, and plenty of scope for new generation projects.
• Oil and gas: Huge work programme and significant investment as evidenced by recent news of three rigs being brought to Taranaki.

• Engineering Consultancy. Things are very slow in our industry here in Nelson as a large proportion of our clients are Government or Local Authorities who are not spending locally. We are however getting more work from the Christchurch rebuild - a silver lining!
• Transport Engineering. Steady. Small growth.
• Engineering, improving forward orders but still receiving a lot of very short lead-time orders, problems with suppliers who are under stocked and seem to be under staffed.
• Consulting Civil & Structural Engineer Auckland & Waikato. Coasting along at the moment with not much large work ahead but enough. Expect that as a lot of the questions relating to the Earthquake in Christchurch are being addressed we see a steady increase over the next few years. But do not expect any boom

• Banking. Lending is slow and getting new business is harder than several years ago
• Property lending and investment Lending still at a low or non existent level but definitely an uptick in clients selling residential houses and sections in the Auckland
• Property Finance. The volume of business low, deal flow is inconsistent, quality is reasonable.
• Banking. Squeezed margins slow growth. Not many borrowers....
• Banking is looking OK as more people are floating than fixing. But less people taking on new debt as well.
• Finance - Business is ticking over. Retail deposits remain strong despite progressive tightening of the rates tap. New lending business is still subdued but enough quality opportunities are still being presented. Very few non-performing loans recently which is positive.

• Log prices have dropped 30% in the last 3 months. Roller coaster will continue, not sure though in which direction first. Great fun as long as don't have anything invested or want job security. Sawmilling
• Timber Processing - very difficult sector right now, especially for exporters. Large increases in input costs has happened while prices flat or declining, combined with low demand & high exchange rates.
• Timber Industry - Very tough times with slow markets in NZ, Aust and the US and a high NZ:US dollar. The Chch rebuild is a myth for the time being with all parts of the timber market here dead in the water.
• We are in the timber packaging industry and our turnover is trending down, on last years results.
• Timber building products: Awful June quarter on both sides of the Tasman, this quarter looking better. Medium term prospects good.

Health and Fitness
• Health.
Solid evidence of Government Departments deliberately(?) slowing up on paying their bills. Otherwise, work-loads increasing due to seasonal factors.
• Medical. People are still paying for private medical care in regards to minor surgeries.
• Chiropractic best week in ChCH for the whole year, still not back to September last year- that's another 30%
• Acupuncture - finally looking up post February

• Export Horticulture. We are somewhat lucky as we have set forward for our exports 2~3 years. However if we were having to work at spot we would be in the disastrous zone, in fact a loss position, as the value of our products is low and the world market in horticulture cannot accept price increases.
• Horticulture things are steady with a higher base return level than last year at this time
• Kiwi Fruit - global sales 8% behind last yr - it is going to be a tough marketing season
• Glasshouse tomatoes we employ 18. Prices good at present, but that is due to floods in Australia. Costs just getting too high.
• Kiwifruit-Bit of a concern re PSA. confidence is there that the fruit will sell but unsure where to go from here. this spring will be see how far this bacteria has spread and hopefully some sort of control will be developed soon.

• Entertainment. Picking up, more risk coming on the table but in a selective approach. Audiences will still only pay for what they want to see rather than try unknown properties.
• Events company - this year is looking miles better compared to last year however I can't help but fear for the future here in NZ.
• Gambling - declines bottoming out - expecting growth next 12mths
• Enquiries steady with focus on short lead times. Christchurch people appear to be getting on with life wherever possible.

Information Technology/Telecommunications
• IT - business software.
• IT Support is looking up. New projects are being approved and more opportunities being presented
• IT - steady
• ITC - As a services industry we are dependant on other industries doing well. The current global outlook isn't that hot and as a supposed exporting country can't be good for us. So I expect our leads to remain slow and sales too. Existing clients are continuing to tighten belts.
• We have been a very successful software export company for over 20 years. The current very high value of the NZ Dollar against the major currencies - US$, Sterling and Euro is having a huge negative impact on our business. We have stopped hiring and now have to do twice the work for the same revenue. I am not sure we can sustain this for much longer before we have to start laying off staff to survive.

• Clients are finding it hard to meet the rising cost of Insurance. General Insurance Broking in Provincial NZ.
• The insurance industry is very volatile at the moment until such times as the Christchurch earthquakes settle down
• General Insurance - major issues around CHCH EQ, controlling demand driven inflation of building costs, managing customer and media expectations of policy outcomes. Premiums increasing, coverage contracting (especially in the commercial space), non CHCH customers resenting premium increases.
• General Insurance: Once the Canterbury recovery speeds up (and it looks like it is starting to happen now) then things will pick up quickly. Still a major concern that seismicity will give anxiety in some segments. Insurers remain nervous in the Canterbury market for this reason.

• Law Christchurch - steady at present with uplift starting to occur surrounding earthquake issues.
• Legal - Suburban Auckland. Very little conveyancing. Few properties on the market as, I think, vendors are waiting for the RWC and election to pass before selling. Other work ticks along. SME clients are doing it hard. Some are hanging on by their fingertips. Some aren't.
• Legal - Much improved as of late. We are cautiously optimistic about a strong second half.
• Legal Services -noticeable increase in conveyancing for last 6 weeks
• Legal services - our firm is busy but we know of others that are not, particularly those with exposure to property market
• Provincial Legal- still very erratic. Slight increase in property transactions this winter compared to 2010.
• Law Practice: Still quite busy on contract and due diligence for prospective business
• Law office Canty - still fairly busy
• Law very very slow .No signs of improvement
• Law - bumpy - just when it looks like traction its stumbles. Keeping head above water and hopeful that things will get better but doubt they will
• Law - conveyancing still subdued, but commercial clients are showing a little more confidence albeit they are still acting very conservatively.

Machinery – Including Hire
• Equipment rental. Winter slow down. Too many large long term contractors put into liquidation recently after a 3 year recession. How many more will fail before there is a continuity of contracts with enough work to go around that allows some reasonable margins instead of taking on a contract just to get cash flow and leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table.

• Food Processing, domestic market. Things still as tough as ever, flat consumer demand, limited ability to increase prices to restore profitability.
• Manufacturing. Very slow no improvement
• Our is manufacturing (steel industry)as everyone is trying to keep the cash so what we are experiencing is that customers are not keeping the stock instead they buy and shell. We are just floating in the business, i.e. not making much profit compared what we made two years ago.
• Costs up, volume and sales prices down. Cutting staff numbers. Rising interest rates the nail about to go in the coffin and kill of an investment plans we had. We are having meaningful discussions with our banks and auditors. 30 jobs on the line.

• Marine Industry. Sales are steady to local and overseas larger boat builders, but our service department is like a ghost town and in asking around our business associates and competitors alike I find we are all in the same holding pattern where the local market is expected to pick up toward the end of the year and the visiting vessel market is expected to increase from October through to early next year with an unknown climate in the second quarter.

• International consulting - donor funded financial and economic restructuring. Positive outlook with plenty of demand despite donors keeping a tight rein on spending.
• Things are pretty quiet in my Greeting cards business right now although I have had a good start in the business and for my other businesses I either have not yet checked whether I had made or haven't made any money as yet. I haven't been working on my wellness business for some time as I have been working on more ways to make money.
• Industrial components: buyer contacts are low key about new spending. Cash position takes centre stage, and generally there is a refocus on core activities.
• Strong sales interest but taking time to get commitment after the quote. service work is pretty steady with occasional days of very little demand. (hydraulic Sales and service)
• Concentrating on every day business and internal improvements to efficiency rather than looking at growth opportunities. (Electricity Lines Company)
• eBusiness - tough as high NZD is hurting us.
• Very slow insect and odour control

• Flexible Packaging is busy but margins are tight. New work is growing and requests for capital equipment continues.

• Printing - Market continues to shrink causing pressure on pricing. Some opportunities coming out of this for those with the time to look for them though.
• Things are flat (Printing Industry)
• Over capacity and reduced demand is making it difficult to fill machines at a reasonable margin, so not much change since the last survey Commercial Printing

Property Development
• Property Marketing and advertising (mainly projects). Developers looking for opportunities, but costs too high to enable reasonable margins, compounded by rising interest rates and further instability in the US and Europe.
• Land development industry. While higher rentals have created some stimulus in the housing market, we find that the price of property, development costs and council contributions render most developments uneconomical. Enquiries in our business is definitely increasing but once clients have undertaken due diligence, most potential projects are abandoned due to high costs. We still see a number of distressed properties coming on the market and even for these that are traded at discounted prices, the numbers simply do not stack up.
• Property Development, Nelson. Market sluggish here, land developers offering incentives to sell sections but still little demand. Lifestyle blocks and coastal property values falling, but Nelson is still better off than Marlborough!
• Cautious optimism with no room for error - Property Development Dunedin
• Commercial property management. Organisations (including, surprisingly, banks!) are getting more innovative about dealing with issues.

Property Management
• Property Manager North Shore Auckland very busy at the moment. Listing have dropped 15% in last 2 weeks. Rents have flattened off but still 5-10% higher than same time last year. It feels like the spring surge has started a month early. I can see large shortage of accommodation becoming apparent by Christmas.
• Property Management Wgtn - If there's light at the end of the tunnel, it’s very dim. The market remains obstinately quiet, with activity levels verging on flat lining.
• Plenty of houses to rent in Palmerston North. People selling rentals because of legislation change
• Rental houses steady, no problem finding tenants, first impact of rate and insurance increases starting to be felt and rent increases will follow.
• Residential property investment in Wellington. Tenants are keen to stay put, and want to have certainty of 1-year leases. For this time of year, that is a bit unusual, and might suggest that they recognise a shortage of quality flats/houses is developing.
• Very good! - residential property investment in Auckland (fringe city. Strong demand, firming rents

Real Estate – Non-residential
• Real Estate. More enquiry for commercial.
• Commercial Real Estate. Basically no change but tenants are getting their way a bit more as landlords drop their rates marginally to maintain some cash flow.

Real Estate – Residential
• Real Estate.... shortage of good stock and realistic vendors. Good open homes with specific houses in specific locations highly sought after.
• Real Estate Tauranga. Bargain Hunters out and about. Under $300,000 reasonable demand. Higher price slow. Mortgagee Sales people like "ants looking for sugar!
• Real Estate - no listings anywhere unless sellers are motivated or literally don't have a choice. Could be an opportunity if people realized that there is no competition. But, buyers seem very picky and hesitant. Not the best year in the industry.
• Real Estate - Central Auckland. Market still quite tight although there seems to be a slight increase in listings from last month. Good prices being paid due to lack of stock but buyers frustrated at lack of choice. Will be interesting to see how prices react when the Spring brings an increased number of listings. I doubt we will see a backslide in prices in this market.
• Real listings...realistic vendors and purchasers want to do the business
• Real Estate Auckland (North Shore) Plenty of buyers out there, sales have been good but stock levels now near critical, very few appraisals either.
• Real Estate specialising in the Lakeside and holiday homes market Very dependent. Currently very slow with the only activity being in the lower value properties
• Real estate - things are still slow but are turning shortage of listings meaning it is more like a sellers market than a buyers market. Not all buyers have realised this yet and are still trying low offers or are waiting and missing out on properties. More multiple offers are being submitted on Auckland homes.
• Real Estate: Steady at a reduced pace, listings starting to come in, a few buyers about but cautious re price, tend to be on low side.
• Real Estate: Shortage of listings and listings that are well priced. The market is very slow, and in some cases it is taking weeks and even months to get deals together. Vendors are still coming to terms with the drop in value of their properties and some are unfortunately "following the market down". What is selling is at the lower end of the market. But there is a real shortage of top end "quality" listings.
• Real Estate, Onehunga, high buyer demand and low supply pushing prices for quality homes up, and keeping DOM down. The tough bit isn't selling property, it is getting property to sell.
• Property/Healthcare - Property sales improving entry into villages. Resales significantly stronger than the same time last year. Contracts written during the month also stronger than last year.
• Real estate Lack of listings Prices still steady in south Auckland
• Residential real estate Hamilton: still excellent buyer activity that seems to be getting more motivated to buy as looming spectre of interest rate rises starts to put pressure on. Listings still bard to come by at present as vendors seem to still be fixated on wanting to wait until spring. May miss the best opportunity to sell right now. Due to limited stock coming on prices holding and still fierce competition for new properties to the market. Prior to auction sales and competitive offers still very common.
• Real estate. Palmerston north.... A very quiet month after 2 good months, approx 1/2 the sales volume. Listings slow and not getting any easier to find.
• Residential Real Estate - multiple offers and higher than expected price for quality homes in all price brackets
• Real Estate - Well priced property is selling well. New properties are slow to come on the market.
• Real Estate is going off for the first time in 3 years on the North Shore, multi offers houses selling within days of being listed. Bring it on.
• Residential Real Estate Christchurch .Activity levels improving across the board, but getting commitment from purchasers is still difficult .Many potential sellers are waiting to take advantage of the sellers market which they anticipate will lead to higher prices as the red zone purchasers flood the market .Their optimism may be misplaced as many red zoners are entering the rental market and waiting to see what happens in Christchurch over the next six to twelve months .Our phones for rental accommodation are running white hot Still a real shortage of listings in the city fringe area, strong demand of buyers.
• Real estate - the market is busier now than summer, more deals, better quality buyers, more getting over the line once under offer.
• Auckland Real Estate - Pt Chevalier, Westmere, Grey Lynn. Very strong prices being obtained due to the most serious shortage of stock we have seen in 15 years, nothing new being built and huge volume of seriously motivated buyers. Would estimate that anyone who purchased 12 months ago in these areas would have seen on average around a $100,000 gain since then. Not likely to see the usual spring surge of listings as nobody seems to want to list for sale before the RWC is over and then we will also have the usual pre election slow down. So looks like prices will strengthen further over the next few months and probably low listing levels until next year.
• Real estate. Things are ticking over but quiet really. I believe it will remain quiet this year due to the elections and world cup.
• Real estate: Better than last year. A bit slow, its winter but certainly some positive signs.
• Residential Real Estate Napier. Listings are slow we need more listings!!! Buyers are out and about keen to spend their money
• Residential Real Estate Howick/Pakuranga - Very short of saleable properties, which you would think would create more demand and push prices up - but it's not. Buyers very picky and refusing to pay what's asked, so quite a lot of property actually sitting on the market going nowhere. Motivated sellers prepared to meet the market are selling.
• Real Estate, Eastern Beaches. Achieving very solid prices, especially in sub $600k range and in short order. Buyers are plentiful but an absolute scarcity of homes listed for sale; shortest supply position I have ever seen.
• Starting to look better - real estate
• Real Estate Eastern Suburbs, 23 sales in July, only 17 listings, big shortage of property for sale.
• Real estate. Much the same which is spluttering along

Real Estate – Rural
• Real Estate (Rural Whakatane) Lifestyle properties ticking over at a slow but steady rate. not much happening in Kiwifruit (psa), only one dairy farm sold this year. we have a few grazing blocks due to come on the market in the spring...

Real Estate Valuation
• Property Valuation - North Shore: Steady, though usual winter quiet patch not evident this year. Still a lot of caution in market, lack of listings driving house prices higher. Usual spring surge of listings may see softening of values.
• Property Valuer Auckland - very quiet for last six weeks.
• Real Estate/Valuation. Allowing for the normal slowdown over the school holidays, the market appears to be slightly improving.

• Recruitment - all the talented people are in roles or have left the country to go to Australia
• Employment - new jobs do not appear to be being created.
• Executive recruitment. busy and getting busier
• Recruitment: Still down on pre recession levels, flat with last year but with increased demand in some centres.

• Retail. Things very slow. We're in Wanaka. The recession is in full swing here, despite the (usually) busy ski season. Lots of locals - particularly families - leaving town, some for Oz and others waiting for the influx of work in ChCh. Customers just not wanting to commit to purchases like they used to; they think very hard about it, then go for the cheapest option. Online shopping and Trade Me doing very well at present we think. Like to think things will get better, but light at the end of the tunnel in beautiful (but expensive) Wanaka.
• Retail, still very soft
• Online Retail - wooden toys. Very up and down but averages out fine. We have purchased a lot of wholesale clearance stock over the last 2 years so can pass on good pricing to customers plus with stock on hand do next day delivery but note that suppliers are no longer clearing anything as nothing left to clear ( 1 day sales have cleared them out also )
• Distribution of Beauty accessories. No buoyancy whatsoever.
• Florist North Shore Auckland Slowly picking up, future looks good.
• Cycling accessories wholesale - slow winter, and 3 retailers closed their doors in the past 6 weeks. Future is clouded by increasing overseas internet purchases, made attractive by the current exchange rate and of course the unlevel playing field of gst exempt under $400.
• Retail. Very quiet and sick. People are still not spending
• Flat. Client business' are laying off staff rather than hiring. We are in the snack & drink vending industry & the last month has been diabolically deadly. ie, $5 in a machine for 10 days takings. Logistics, Expo/display/amusement, retail, clerical, Lease & hire as well as medical & tertiary institutions are all running on half the staff of last year. There are less casual labourers being used this year too! The normal increase in casuals for logistics processing of Christmas imports is either late or not happening.
• Supermarket. Some good growth but possibly driven by visitors from Christchurch seeking some respite from their troubles. Everything very competitive
• Women’s Fashion Retail - getting a better take on more heavily discounted end of winter stock. Full price summer slower to start.
• Lingerie Retail. High dollar really hurting, to try and compete with UK would kill our margins. Our hope is that our wholesalers will finally bring prices down, and then our dollar to weaken, and hopefully they'll be as slow to raise prices as they have been to drop them!
• Retail electronics sales and service. Work now coming in at a steady pace. Far more enquiry than two months ago. Still not doing many new home builds though.
• Fuel retailing industry. Changed for the better as fewer sites means higher volume throughput.
• Fuel retail/convenience. Due to a number of fuel outlet closures business is brisk. Take out food & coffee are a quickly growing segment
• Retail - slow at moment but looking forward to Summer Sales to boost Sales
• Office furniture. Good. Much EQ work
• Retail - Clothing - Northland : The public have gorse in their pockets - too scared to look for their wallets. Sales 28% down on same four months last year. Even Specials don't excite the shoppers. Just working for the landlord. Lease renewal coming up - could be closed before Christmas if economy doesn't pick up.

• June was a good month, July less so and August is looking grim, cash flow has slowed and the 60 & 90 day debtors are growing again. The Christchurch re build is stalled due to insurance issues it is difficult to be positive.
• Sign writing - things are steady for us, always quiet in the school holidays but picking up
• Signage Industry - Very Busy in Christchurch at the moment. Money flowing OK but out of town people taking their time to pay. If an insurance claim, taking forever. Over all a good outlook for the next few months and then hopefully a real boom.

Tourism and Travel/Accommodation
• Tourism and Travel having a reasonable winter
• Business is booming! Lots of tourists especially from Australia boosting bookings. Still bookings coming in daily and bookings for summer now beginning. Turnover ahead of last year and ahead of projected. Cleaning company / holiday homes only.
• Tourism/Accommodation: We have a motor lodge in Christchurch and are fully booked Monday through Thursday inclusive. This does not appear to be going to ease for many many months to come. There are still tourists on the move and requiring accommodation as well.
• Tourism - very tough winter affected by world economies, exchange rates, multiple significant natural events and, sure, why not throw in an ash cloud and very late snow fall. RWC has so far been a clear disincentive for ski travellers. September and October dire so it will all hinge on FIT spinoff from the rugby. There was some optimism that things would start improving into the summer but the current USA and Italy situations have put a lot more doubt back in so...who knows!
• Tourism - Drop off in bookings early 2012, due to higher dollar and perception that dollar will stay high as interest rate rises signalled flow through
• Tourism. Cautious about RWC in the sense that on the ground realities at present are not seeming to match the hype. While the headlines say 2.5 million visit NZ, only 48% are actually holidaymakers and 31% are visiting friends and relatives - the motives between the 2 are different. We hope RWC visitors are not simply substituting one other alternative visit by a RWC visit so no net gains in visitor numbers in longer term - while RWC means very little to growth markets like China. A cautious optimism for locations hosting RWC and avoiding the need to think post RWC at the moment! On bright side RWC could increase spend per visitor
• Hire Car Industry (Licensed Chauffeurs) Getting worse as discretionary spending has shrunk each year for last three years. Running costs constantly increasing. So many once good sole and small operator businesses now selling up.
• Hotel Industry: Picking up before the Rugby World Cup, we have started themed parties with good turnouts.
• South Island Tourism, pretty flat at present, and so uncertain for the coming season.
• Tourism - very sick

Transport and Storage
• Road transport. Going well
• Transport. There is evidence of increased freight flows but these are only attached to parts of the economy that are benefitting from recovery. The lack of satisfactory margin will continue for as long as it takes for the excess capacity to find utilisation. Hopefully at some stage going forward we will see this!!!!
• Volumes in the bulk cartage sector have fallen considerably in the last month and many sawmills have either taken annual holidays or have reduced the number of work days for August.
• Transport/Storage - Better but from a low base. Still some jitters - will it last.

Vehicles & Automotive
• Franchised Vehicle Dealer Auckland. Trading conditions worse than 2010 with business being concluded only when margin is sacrificed. So much for RWC.
• Automotive repair. Dire. Business dropped off completely over the school holidays - people getting only absolutely necessary work done (i.e. vehicle wont go/wont get warranted without it).
• Motor Vehicle Sales. Very quiet, many sales are discount driven and resulting in little margin. Walk in activity is non existent and any sales are hard fought.
• Automotive Parts Very patchy. Just holding head above water
• Automotive repair workshop. Business has got very patchy again over July. It wasn’t that great before but has definitely got worse.
• We are in the importing wholesale wheel industry. There has been an increase in sales the past couple of months which seems promising!
• Automotive. Steady.
• Tight, but picking off (car dealer)
• Motorcycle parts - our sales are slow, July was the slowest month we had on record. ( over 7 years). Our small business struggles with tax commitments, GST , no reserves to fall back on as we are buying extremely carefully. Hope future is brighter.
• Vehicles: Private customers are still closing their wallets in all areas, e.g. service jobs are basic. Private & company buyers are being cautious about any debt. Don't expect a major increase in any area within the next 12 months

• Wine - High exchange rate will effect us adversely if it doesn’t drop below 80
• Dry goods supplier to wine industry - steady (slowly) improving demand. High USD affecting our customers. Cash flow tight.

The BNZ Confidence Survey is run on the first Thursday of each month. In the Weekly Overview email sent to the 25,000 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 on their own industry if they wish. Results are collated over the weekend and released on the following Monday in this publication to media and WO readers.

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