|Not a member? Sign up now!|
The latest Auckland Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Business Confidence Survey shows only a marginal lift among Auckland businesses since May.
The Business Confidence Survey of more than 900 business respondents was undertaken electronically by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce this week.
Asked to look ahead for the next six months, a net 16% of respondents believe that the general business situation in New Zealand will improve. This is up from 12 % in May, but still six percentage points shy of the 22% in February who held this view.
In respect of their own business situation, 49% of respondents predicted an improvement, just a 1% shift upwards from the May figures.
Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett says the survey results indicate that businesses are still waiting for an economic recovery “which frankly isn’t coming”.
He says the slight lift in confidence is a trend in the right direction and encouraging following the May figures which had showed confidence had halved among Auckland businesses.
“We are seeing some good things – a net 39% of Auckland business owners believe their own business situation will improve in the coming six months.”
Among other findings, 24% of respondents were continuing to find it difficult to employ skilled staff, and 5% of businesses were struggling to fill unskilled positions.
Also significant is that more that 30% of small businesses and 20% of larger businesses identified demand as the main limiting factor to growth. “This is normal to see in a small country.”
Mr Barnett says with demand being an issue, it was important New Zealand businesses looked outside the borders towards the dynamic Asian economy. “If New Zealand firms are going to grow they should be thinking about how they can access those markets and Government agencies should be looking at how they can work with business to make this happen.
“It shouldn’t be just about a strong agricultural sector – we should have a broad range of businesses taking advantage of the free trade agreements which successive governments have put in place to help New Zealand businesses and the economy grow.”
Auckland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Michael Barnett and economist and business journalist Bernard Hickey will present a full analysis of the Quarterly Business Confidence Survey and the economic outlook for New Zealand and global impacts at the Auckland Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Update on Thursday 23 August at 8am at the Hobson Room, Alexandra Park, Greenlane.