Business confidence out of sync with stats

Wednesday 10 Jul 2019

Looking to some recent business survey data across the New Zealand, it appears what we are doing and what we are saying appear different: From Stats NZ here is provisional data for the 2018 financial year:
> total income for all industries increased $45.8 billion (7.1 percent) to $691.9 billion
> total expenditure for all industries increased $37.6 billion (6.7 percent) to $597.6 billion
> business assets for all industries increased $52.4 billion (2.6 percent) to $2.1 trillion
> businesses earned $85.6 billion in operating profit – up $ 5.9 billion (7.4 percent) from 2017
> businesses made a 4.8 percent return on assets – up from 4.4 percent in 2017.

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On the other hand here is what we were saying to ANZ sources while it was happening (in late August 2018):

SPOOKED
· Headline business confidence fell a further 5 points in August, but firms’ views of their own activity were steady.
· Manufacturing is now the least confident sector – likely a lagged impact from construction sector woes. The services sector is the most optimistic.
· Activity sub-indicators remain weak. This month we take a closer look at the implications of weak investment and employment intentions, and conclude the threat to near-term activity is real.




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