Business confidence dipped in May according to ANZ’s monthly business confidence survey.
It found that 27 percent of businesses now have a pessimistic outlook, compared to 23 percent in April. The April figure saw confidence fall three percent from 20 percent in March.
Declining business confidence has become a political football for the Government.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a business luncheon shortly after a release of the April numbers that business confidence was “the elephant in the room” and that she hoped overall confidence would improve to align with the more positive outlook businesses had for their own companies.
This metric has remained positive, although ANZ’s May survey found the outlook fell from 18 percent positive to 14 percent positive.
Opposition leader Simon Bridges made frequent reference to flagging business confidence in comments leading up to the Budget.
Other metrics in the survey remained flat or declined. Employment intentions fell from nine percent positive to seven percent positive and profit expectations fell eight points to nine percent negative.