New Zealand business confidence weakened more than initially estimated in March, survey results from ANZ showed on Wednesday.
The business confidence index fell to -4.1 in March from 7.0 in February. The flash reading was 0.0.
Business confidence as well as activity indicators ticked down in March, consistent with the view that the economy would start to struggle a bit more as the lack of tourists reached its seasonal cash-flow peak impact and the unsustainable bounce in retail spending started to dissipate, ANZ said.
Firms’ own activity outlook fell 4 points to 17 percent in March. While investment intentions declined 4 points, employment intentions advanced 4 points. Capacity utilization was largely unchanged at 14.6 percent.
Inflation pressure remained high. Cost expectations rose 1 point to a net 73.3 percent of respondents reporting higher costs. At the same time, a net 47.3 percent intend to raise their prices, a historically very high level.
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