Kiwi firms upbeat
New Zealand's businesses think the worst effects from the global financial crisis and European debt saga are behind them, and are expecting revenues to start picking up in the year ahead.
That's according to the findings from the latest Grant Thornton International Business Report, which interviewed 3,000 high levels executives across 40 economies in May and June of this year.
The results showed that while just over half of the New Zealand respondents were slightly optimistic about the economy over the next 12 months, almost 65 per cent of North Island firms and 75 per cent of South Island expect to see their revenues grow over the year ahead.
Additionally, 72 per cent of North Island businesses expected profits increase, while for the South Island the measure stood at 62 per cent.
"The general message is that New Zealand businesses think the worst is behind them," said Paul Kane, a partner at Grant Thornton. "They've gone through the pain of restructuring over the past two or three years and are now poised to reap the benefits of that."
In terms of overall optimism, that puts New Zealand somewhere between Peru, where 96 per cent of firms are upbeat about their economic prospects, and Spain, where 66 per cent of companies expected local market conditions to deteriorate.
"By comparison, on the global arena, business expectations for revenues, profits and employment remain at or below levels observed 18 months ago," said Kane. "Global economic uncertainty is weighing on short-term business growth prospects."
The result appears to back yesterday's Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion - albeit on the rosy side - with the Institute of Economic Research finding that most Kiwi businesses expect the economy to remain lacklustre for sometime to come.
The Grant Thornton study also painted an improving picture of the labour and funding markets in New Zealand.
Just over 40 per cent of South Island and 37 per cent of North Island firms expect jobs to increase but the availability of skilled workers remained a concern, particularly ahead of the Christchurch rebuild.
Cost of finance was of low concern by 48 per cent of North Island businesses and 55 per cent in the South Island, with very few expecting a shortage of long term finance, at 3.7 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively.
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