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Source: Business Central

The latest Central New Zealand Business Confidence Survey has found confidence at record lows, with expectations of the New Zealand economy at a net negative of -61.90%.
“Confidence is at the lowest it’s been in our 16 years of data,” said Simon Arcus, Chief Executive of Business Central and the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, who conducted the survey. “We’re now in line with the height of the 2009 global financial crisis, and the onset of Covid-19.”
Driving the downturn was an increasingly damaging shortage of staff across the board. 62% of respondents list staffing as the main barrier to business. 86% said it was harder to find skilled staff than this time last year.
“Even those businesses that do report they are doing well feel that a lack of staff means a drag on their growth. That’s a handbrake on the prosperity that could be delivered back to New Zealand.” said Simon Arcus.
One respondent described the impact the shortage was having: “Customers still expect us to produce like we did pre-covid. But that world just doesn’t exist anymore. It’s a struggle, and we’re just tired.”
The survey also found high concern about rising costs, and for the first time, interest rates – with access to finance appearing for the first time as a major barrier to doing business.
The survey was conducted over a two-week period, in the Central New Zealand region – ranging from Gisborne, to Hawke’s Bay, and as far south as Nelson, with 220 businesses responding.
The survey was undertaken by Business Central and the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, a membership organisation which represents business throughout the Central New Zealand region, as part of the wider BusinessNZ network.