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NZ business confidence slips to 2-year low in Q3 - survey

[WELLINGTON] New Zealand business confidence fell to a two-year low in the third quarter as the pace of economic growth has slowed while cost pressures are rising, a private think tank said on Tuesday, suggesting that interest rates will continue to increase from early next year.

A net 19 per cent of firms surveyed expected general business conditions to improve, its lowest since the September 2012 quarter, from 32 per cent in the previous quarter, the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research's quarterly survey of business opinion (QSBO) showed.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, a net 20 per cent of firms expected general conditions to pick up, from a net 33 per cent in the previous survey.

The poll's measure of capacity utilisation was 90.6 per cent, unchanged from the second quarter.

The NZIER said cost and prices have risen in the past six months, pointing to an inflation rate of about 2.5 per cent by early 2015. - Reuters