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Hutt Valley business confidence positive

Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce
Media Release

26 September 2016

Hutt Valley business confidence positive

Hutt Valley business confidence in New Zealand’s economy has significantly improved according to the latest Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Confidence Survey, sponsored by Red Hot Business Coaching.

Expectations and confidence have improved this quarter compared to the last survey in June. Respondents are anticipating positive activity with a net 49.5% expecting the situation to improve over the next 6 months, compared to a net 15% in June and net 21% in March. This is also an improvement on this time last year, where businesses expected New Zealand’s economy to decline a net 2%.

Overall figures show that 53% of respondents expect the national business situation to improve, 43% expect it to remain the same, and 4% expect it to deteriorate.

Hutt Valley business confidence in their own business also remains stable. A net 55% of business respondents said they expected their own business situation to improve over the next 6 months, compared to a net 47% in June and 52% in March. Of all respondents, 60% expect an improvement, 35% expect things to stay the same and 5% expect a decline in their own situation.

The survey was conducted in September over a two-week period and attracted 103 respondents.

Expectations around business investment remain positive, consistent with last quarter. A net 9% of businesses expect to invest more in buildings over the next 12 months, compared to a net 6% in June. Investment in plant and machinery has declined slightly from last quarter, with a net 11% of businesses expect to invest in the next 12 months, compared to a net 17% in June.

Business hiring expectations have improved with a net 15% expecting to hire both full-time and part-time staff over the next three months.

According to respondents, the last 3 months have seen positive sales and profitability results. Increased profits were recorded by 26% of respondents, with 51% seeing similar profits to June. Sales in New Zealand were positive over the past 3 months, with 37% of respondents noting an increase in New Zealand sales, although exports were not as positive with only 8% of respondents noting an increase in exports sales.

Lack of demand continues to be the prevalent factor limiting business expansion, and respondents highlighted the continuous difficulty in finding skilled employees. Of respondents, finding skilled staff has become slightly harder, with 31% saying it was harder to find skilled staff compared to 3 months ago and only 4% are finding it easier than 3 months ago. This compares with 27% finding it harder, and 2% finding it easier in June.

Chief Executive of the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce, Mark Futter, said “the results show a stable economic environment. Expectations for the next few months are confident, and likely reflect the strong results seen over the past 3 months.”

“Hutt Valley’s diverse business environment is overall performing well and feeling optimistic.”

“With strong performance comes a greater need for skilled talent. It is a concern that our businesses are still struggling to connect with the skilled staff.”


Note: Net percentage is the balance of sentiment, positive minus negative responses.

Business Sector and Size

The charts below give an indication of the participants’ business sector and size by employees.

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