Business confidence among Auckland firms is at its lowest point in 12 months, according to the latest figures from Auckland Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly business confidence survey.
Chamber chief executive Michael Barnett says he is surprised at the results of the latest survey which shows net confidence in the business situation in New Zealand at just 11%, down from 16% last quarter and 12% in the May survey.
The Chamber quarterly survey was undertaken electronically earlier this week with responses from just under 1000 Auckland business owners and managers.
"It seems that uncertainty in the economy is delaying businesses making decisions to grow and employ and yet that uncertainty is unnecessary,” Mr Barnett suggested. “We have so many major projects in Auckland that could be accelerated and used to stimulate our economy, instead we have businesses that have trimmed down while waiting for a recovery that has not arrived and now they are looking at further cuts to their businesses."
While many business owners remained bullish, other signals from the survey indicated that finding skilled staff remained difficult particularly in the technology/communications and retail sectors.
Other findings in the survey showed that the most limiting factor to growth continues to be demand (51% of respondents) and this was particularly an issue in the technology/communications and service sectors.
Employment intentions for the next three months remain static, while hours to be worked are down and businesses are expecting to reduce costs.
“The survey shows a definite trend towards businesses tightening the belt and continuing to reduce expenditure.”
For more information on the Auckland Chamber of Commerce November Business Confidence Survey, please visit www.aucklandchamber.co.nz