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

 

Small firms’ confidence hits 10-year low

Business confidence among small firms fell further during the September quarter, with hiring and investment intentions in negative territory for the first time since the Global Financial Crisis, according to ANZ’s quarterly Business Micro Scope survey.

A net 44% of small businesses are pessimistic about general business conditions, the most since June 2008. Confidence slipped in both micro firms (0-5 employees) and intermediate-sized businesses (those that employ 6-20 employees) for the quarter, but lifted slightly in September on a monthly basis.

“While the uptick at the end of the quarter suggests the low might be behind them, pessimism seems likely to be the main theme for business confidence in the year ahead driven by ongoing concern about regulatory changes and the lack of skilled labour,” said Antonia Watson, ANZ’s Managing Director Retail and Business Banking.

Our composite growth measure for small firms – a proxy for GDP growth – slipped to another nine-year low, teetering on the edge of expansion at +0.8. Firms’ activity outlook remains positive, but hiring and investment intentions turned negative and profit expectations slid further into the red.

“This suggests small firms continue to see reasonable demand for their goods and services but perhaps some difficulty in passing on rising costs to consumers,” Ms Watson said.

Regulation remains the biggest concern facing small firms, particularly those in agriculture, construction, retail and services. Difficulty finding skilled employees – a perennial concern of small Kiwi businesses in the survey – continued to cause sleepless nights with a large number of sectors reporting severe skilled labour shortages.

Highlights from the September 2018 ANZ Business Micro Scope survey of small firms:
[Net percentages reflect the balance of sentiment, i.e. percent positive minus percent negative responses]

• Our composite growth measure declined to its lowest level since 2009.
• Small firms’ activity outlook fell to a net 3% of firms expecting an increase, down from 11% in the June quarter.
• Hiring intentions fell to -2% in September, entering negative territory for the first time since 2009.
• Investment intentions across small firms slipped 10 points to -8%.
• Regulation and difficulty finding skilled employees remain the top two major concerns for small businesses.
• The composite growth measure fell in four of the five major regions, with Wellington remaining the most positive and Canterbury and other North Island areas least positive.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Dairy NZ: ‘More Milk From Fewer Cows’ Trend Continues In A Record Year
Vodafone says it has 10,000 customers using its Wi-Fi Calling service. It took less than three months to reach that milestone; the service began operating in September... More>>

Statistics: Consents Remain At Record Levels
There were 47,715 new homes consented in the year ended October 2021, up 26 percent compared with the year ended October 2020, Stats NZ said today. "The year ended October 2021 marks another record for the annual number of new homes consented,” construction statistics manager Michael Heslop said... More>>



Foodstuffs: New World & Four Square Trial NZ’s First Grocery Delivery Offer With Uber Eats

New World & Four Square have partnered with Uber Eats to unlock the first grocery offering available on the platform in Aotearoa. For New World and Four Square it’s yet another way to put New Zealanders first, particularly with those inevitable last-minute grocery needs... More>>


Canterbury Museum: New Research - Bald Haast's Eagle Feasted On Moa Guts

New Zealand’s extinct Haast’s Eagle (Hieraaetus moorei), the largest known eagle, gulped down viscera like a vulture and may even have been bald, new research suggests... More>>

ABC Business Sales: Demand High For Covid-proof Businesses
Despite the continuing challenges facing businesses in this Covid environment, right now there are more buyers looking for a small-medium sized business than there are sellers in the market... More>>


PriceSpy: Producer Prices Increase
New Black Friday and Covid-19 Report* released by PriceSpy says people’s fear of stepping inside physical shops during big sales events like Black Friday has risen since last year; Kiwis are still planning to shop, but more than ever will do it online this year... More>>

NZ Skeptics Society: Announce Their 2021 Awards, And Dr Simon Thornley Wins The Bent Spoon

Every year the New Zealand Skeptics presents its awards to people and organisations who have impressed us or dismayed us, and this year it’s been hard to pick our winners because there have been so many choices!.. More>>