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Bounce In Sentiment Welcomed

Finance Minister Michael Cullen today welcomed the latest National Bank outlook showing a strong rebound in general business confidence - from negative 18 percent last month to negative 2 percent.

"Even more encouraging is that a net 28.2 percent of respondents expect their own businesses to grow over the next 12 months. That should be good for both investment and employment decisions," Dr Cullen said.

He said the survey results were in line with the recent One News/Colmar Brunton poll and augured well for 2002.

"The bounce back should be sustained by growing expectations of a recovery in the United States economy and - domestically - by low interest rates and by the government's continuing strong fiscal position as reflected in the December Economic and Fiscal Update released yesterday."

Ends


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