New Zealand business confidence strengthened to the highest since late 2017 in December, business outlook survey data from ANZ Bank showed Tuesday.
The headline business confidence index climbed 13 points to a net 13 percent of respondents reporting that they expect general business conditions to deteriorate in the year ahead.
Nonetheless, this was the highest reading since October 2017.
Firms' expectations for their own activity, a better economic indicator, rose 4 points to a net 17 percent expecting higher activity over the year ahead. This was the strongest read since April 2018.
Among sectors, the improvement in the manufacturing sector was particularly strong. Services and manufacturing were the most upbeat sectors. However, construction was the least optimistic in December.
Further, the survey showed that employment intentions gained 5 points and investment intentions advanced 3 points. Moreover, capacity utilization, one of the best GDP indicators, surged 15 points.
Similarly, profit expectations improved 3 points and export intentions moved up 6 points.
Meanwhile, expected availability of credit fell 12 points. A net 53 percent of firms expect higher costs, up 8 points. Pricing intentions rose 3 points to a net 27 percent of firms expecting to raise prices.