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Post-Election Business Sentiments Revealed: Optimism Ahead

Published: Tue 31 Oct 2023 10:03 AM
The Auckland Business Chamber has conducted a post-election Business Confidence Survey, offering a snapshot of the sentiments and priorities among Auckland businesses.
“The results reveal significant changes in business confidence among Auckland businesses compared to our previous survey. As we move forward, this optimism presents both opportunities and challenges for the incoming government,” says Simon Bridges, CEO of the Auckland Business Chamber.
In assessing the overall business confidence in New Zealand, the survey reveals that 41% of businesses now express moderate confidence, reflecting a notable 11.2% upturn from the previous survey. This upturn is a clear and reassuring sign of a more optimistic outlook. A much smaller portion (13%) reports extremely low confidence levels, a marked decrease from 20.8% in the previous survey.
Expectations following the General Election show a clear change. A substantial 52.3% expect a moderate increase in business confidence over the next 12 months. 9.9% expect it to remain stable. On the flip side, only 3.7% predict a moderate decrease, and 1.2% anticipate a significant drop, suggesting greater confidence in the economy’s resilience post-election. 5.6% remain unsure about the election's impact on business confidence.
There has been a substantial increase in optimism regarding the economic outlook. Currently, 65.7% of businesses anticipate improvement, a significant rise from the previous 25.2%. Concerns about a decline have decreased, with only 7.2% expressing such worries in the current survey, down from 39% in the previous survey.
The survey also delves into the top issues facing New Zealand today. Crime ranks as the foremost concern for 60.5% of businesses, followed by the economy at 46.8%, and inflation at 44.5%.
Looking ahead, businesses have articulated their top priorities for the incoming government. These include investment in health and education at 40.9%, reducing government spending and debt at 35.9%, tackling crime at 34.2%, and tackling inflation at 33.6%.
An interesting shift is evident in the skilled workers shortage. 43.7% of businesses report experiencing a shortage of skilled workers, while 56.3% do not. This shows a significant change from the previous survey, where the majority of respondents faced a shortage of skilled workers (53.5%).
Another significant shift can be seen in businesses' plans for workforce expansion. 43.9% of businesses plan to expand their workforce by hiring more employees, indicating a more positive outlook compared to the previous survey (21.9%). This reflects the growing optimism and willingness to invest in growth.
The survey also reveals a notable improvement in businesses' confidence in their ability to grow over the next 12 months. More businesses are somewhat confident (43.8%) or very confident (14%) in their growth potential, again showing increased confidence compared to the previous survey.
“While there is a significant level of confidence in the New Zealand economy's growth potential, businesses are closely watching key policy decisions. The incoming government must navigate these expectations and challenges, delivering policies that foster economic growth, manage inflation, and address law and order,” said Mr Bridges.
The Auckland Business Chamber remains committed to representing the interests of our business community and will work closely with the incoming government to ensure their voices are heard in shaping the economic policies of the future.

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