Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Small business confidence: Down, but not out

12 October 2015

Small business confidence: Down, but not out


Confidence among small firms has fallen further, consistent with a slowing economy, but firms are still growing, according to ANZ’s quarterly Business Micro Scope survey of small businesses.

The composite measure of growth in the small business sector (taking in activity, employment, investment and profit expectations) remains in positive territory, only slightly below historical averages. However, the headline business confidence figure fell to its lowest since 2009.

Optimism remains highest in Auckland and Wellington, though it is down from recent highs. Small businesses in the North Island outside those centres reported the lowest levels of optimism, likely reflecting challenging conditions in the agricultural sector.

For the first time in two years, a lack of demand (low turnover) was identified as the biggest challenge facing small firms.

Fred Ohlsson, ANZ’s Managing Director Retail & Business Banking, said: “What small business owners are saying is consistent with slowing economic growth. The economy has softened since the start of the year but is still moving forward. There is growth but firms are becoming more cautious about future trading conditions.

“This further underlines the importance for small business owners to have a robust business plan which anticipates change, provides direction and can help owners to trade successfully through fluctuations in demand and economic conditions.”

Highlights from the September 2015 ANZ Business Micro Scope survey of small firms:

[Net percentages reflect the balance of sentiment – i.e. positive minus negative responses]

Small business confidence continued to fall from recent highs. The composite measure of small business sentiment fell 11 points to +7%, and is now just below the long-term average of +11%. Headline business confidence fell to -23%, a six-year low.

Auckland (down 5 points to +14%) and Wellington (down 19 to +13%) remain the most optimistic regions, albeit significantly down from recent record highs. All regions except the Rest of the North Island (-1%) recorded net optimism.
Sentiment fell across all sectors, though all sectors remain net positive except Agriculture (down 9 points to -15%). Retail recorded a modest fall (down 3 points to +10%), while Construction (down 23 points to +2%), Services (down 11 points to +13%) and Manufacturing (down 14 points to +9%) recorded sharper falls.

Low turnover (cited by a third of firms) is the top challenge facing small businesses, followed by Regulation, Lack of skilled staff and Competition. These categories have regularly been cited as the top four challenges over the past two years.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Air New Zealand: Capital Raise Deferred

Air New Zealand has decided to defer its planned capital raise to later in 2021 allowing more time to assess the impacts of recent developments on the airline’s path to recovery. 'We’ve seen some clearing of COVID-19 clouds recently, with ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Cartel Conduct Now Punishable By Up To 7 Years’ Jail Time

Cartel conduct can now be punished with a term of imprisonment of up to 7 years, after the Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Act 2019 came into effect today. Cartel conduct includes price fixing, market allocation and bid rigging (see ... More>>

Stats NZ: Auckland Population May Hit 2 Million In Early 2030s

Auckland’s population may rise from about 1.7 million currently to 2 million by early next decade, Stats NZ said today. “Auckland will likely have the highest average annual growth of New Zealand’s 16 regions over the next 30 years, from ... More>>

Air New Zealand: Business Travellers Return To The Skies In Record Numbers

After a year of talking to a computer, Kiwis are leaving the office to re-connect with their clients, suppliers, and staff. New figures released by Air New Zealand show domestic business and corporate travel has defied global trends by returning ... More>>

PwC: Outcome Of Review Into Air New Zealand Gas Turbines Business

Air New Zealand has received the report into its Gas Turbines business from independent external advisers PwC. Air New Zealand Chairman Dame Therese Walsh says the report identified a range of effective controls in the Gas Turbines revenue contracting ... More>>

LPG Association: Renewable LPG Achieves Emissions Budgets With No Need To Ban New LPG Connections

Renewable LPG can supply New Zealand’s LPG needs and achieve the emissions reductions proposed by the Climate Commission without the need to ban new connections, a new study shows. The investigation, by leading consultancy Worley, was prepared for the ... More>>

Commerce: House Values Continue To Climb As New Government Measures Announced

The Government’s new initiatives to quell the rocketing housing market were announced last week, just as house prices hit a new high for the end of March. The average value increased 7.8% nationally over the past three-month period, up from the 6.8% ... More>>