New Zealand ANZ Business Confidence dropped to -38 in March, down from -30.9. Activity Outlook also dropped to 6.3, down from 10.5. ANZ noted that GDP growth has moderated but is still respectable. However, leading indicators are suggesting that the economy is “running out of steam quite rapidly”.

In particular, export intentions dropped to levels lower than during the Asian Financial Crisis of 1998-9 and the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-9. Sharply lower export intentions despite a well-behaved exchange rate suggest global factors are a part of slowdown in momentum.

Overall, ANZ expects next move in RBNZ to be a cut, “with a growing risk that it is sooner rather than later.”

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