New Zealand’s ANZ Business Confidence Index climbed from -43.8 to -31.1 in May, offering some positive news for the economy. Own Activity outlook also edged higher, moving from -7.6 to -4.5.
A more granular look at the data reveals that export intentions went up from -1.5 to 2.0, while investment intentions remained steady at -6.8. However, employment intentions slid from -2.4 to -5.7.
Pricing intentions dipped slightly from 53.7 to 52.4, while cost expectations barely shifted, coming down from 84.2 to 84.1. Profit expectations saw a significant uplift, rising from -37.7 to -27.4. Inflation expectations also moderated, falling from 5.70% to 5.47%.
ANZ commented on the findings, noting that while RBNZ may view the economy as broadly sluggish, the picture isn’t entirely clear. In their words, “Things are patchy, certainly, but most activity indicators are well off their lows and rising, while cost and price indicators are inching lower, rather than plunging.”
In light of these developments, ANZ continues to predict that RBNZ will resume rate hikes by the end of the year, potentially countering the additional stimulus from robust net migration and higher fiscal spending than anticipated. “We continue to expect that the RBNZ will be back at the hiking table by the end of the year.”