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Business mood like it 1999

JAMES WEIR
Last updated 13:53 18/12/2013

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Businesses are in an elated mood with the highest levels of confidence since 1999.

The ANZ Business Outlook survey shows a net 64 per cent of firms are optimistic about their prospects, the highest since February 1999.

The survey portends a booming economy, with many readings similar to 1994 and 1999, "years of incredibly strong growth". That was despite the headwinds of a high New Zealand dollar and the wide expectation that interest rates will rise next year.

ANZ's composite indicator, based on both business and consumer confidence surveys, suggests potential annual economic growth of about 5 per cent by the middle of next year.

"The producers are producing and the buyers are buying. That augurs well for an economic expansion with real legs," ANZ said.

Confidence in the agricultural sector is at its highest since 1994 and manufacturing is at a 15-year high, with the services sector also strong.

Firms' expectations regarding their own business rose to the highest reading since August 1994.

In Wellington this measure was up to a two-decade high.

Expected profitability pushed beyond last month's 19-year high (+40 versus +37).

ANZ said employment intentions were the strongest since September 1994. Residential investment intentions (+67) are the highest since February 1990.

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