NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion showed a net 37% of businesses reported decline in activity during Q2. That’s the worst level since March 2009 due to tight trading restrictions under Alert Level 4 lockdown. Also, a net 25% of businesses expect weaker demand in Q3.

There was a slight improvement in headline business confidence, from -70 to -63. But the reading suggests that businesses remain pessimistic over the coming months, and they could be holding off on major spending decisions. Pre-election uncertainty is compounded by how the coronavirus pandemic will play out.

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