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New Zealand business confidence lingers near 8-year lows in December: ANZ survey

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New Zealand business sentiment remained close to an eight-year trough in December on lingering uncertainty on policy direction under the new Labour-led government, an ANZ Bank survey showed on Tuesday.

[WELLINGTON] New Zealand business sentiment remained close to an eight-year trough in December on lingering uncertainty on policy direction under the new Labour-led government, an ANZ Bank survey showed on Tuesday.

The survey's headline measure showed a net 37.8 per cent of respondents expected the economy to deteriorate over the year ahead. That compared with a 39.3 per cent pessimism level, the lowest since the global financial crisis, in the previous poll.

"The change in policy direction that comes with a new Government has no doubt caused a degree of apprehension amongst businesses," said Sharon Zollner, chief economist at ANZ Bank.

This was the second ANZ business survey that encompassed firms' reactions to the new Labour-led government, which took the helm towards the end of October and ended nearly a decade of centre-right National Party rule.

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One brighter spot was business' expectations for their own firms to grow in the next year, which picked up to a net 15.6 per cent of respondents, from 6.5 per cent the previous month.

REUTERS