Business confidence has improved to its best level in eight months.
Radio New Zealand reported last night that the ANZ Bank monthly survey showed a net 24% of firms expect general business conditions to get worse over the coming year, compared with 37% in the November survey.
However, the own activity measure, regarded as a better indicator, has nearly doubled with nearly 14% optimistic about their own outlook.
ANZ chief economist Sharon Zollner said: “There is a degree of wariness, but the sky hasn't fallen. Firms are now once again intending to employ and invest.”
Radio NZ said the survey showed businesses are also expecting to export more, their profit outlook to improve, and interest rates to stay low.
Agriculture remained the most pessimistic part of the economy well ahead of the manufacturing and retail sectors.
Ms Zollner said the economy was in a position that meant the Reserve Bank could keep interest rates on hold for the foreseeable future.
“Global economic data appears to be rolling over to some degree, including in our major trading partners. And while China's demand for our commodities remains seemingly insatiable for now, it is prone to cycles just like anything else,” Ms Zollner said.