BNZ’s bankers launch a new measure of business, conditions, and confidence in NZ

If you really want to know how the economy is performing, ask a banker who knows their customer well. That’s the premise behind Bank of New Zealand’s Quarterly Business Bankers’ Survey PDF 2.84MB launched today.

The research provides a unique perspective on business, conditions, and confidence in New Zealand as BNZ’s bankers reflect on the insights shared directly with them by business owners, innovators, and entrepreneurs from all around New Zealand.

The first Bankers’ Survey released today paints a picture of a solid business environment across most customer sectors with technology companies, tourism and hospitality, and health leading the pack:

  • conditions were much stronger for non-agribusinesses (+21) than agribusinesses (+4)
  • confidence is highest for technology firms (+53), followed by tourism and hospitality (+44), health (+35), and business services (+30)
  • confidence is lower for retailers (-10), agriculture overall (-4), and construction (+2).

“Our bankers have great relationships with business owners, both big and small, across New Zealand,” says BNZ Chief Executive Officer Angie Mentis. “This new research taps into that, we simply ask them how their customers are doing.”

Overall the survey reveals New Zealand businesses have a broadly positive view of conditions and confidence:

  • business confidence overall is positive, coming in at +4
  • business conditions were strong, with the index measuring +17, driven by strong trading conditions (+36) and profitability (+4)
  • the biggest influence on confidence is availability of suitable labour – identified by around 1 in 6 bankers.

BNZ’s bankers have provided a wealth of information including some interesting insights on how regions compare.

  • Conditions are strongest in Wellington (+36), followed by Bay of Plenty/Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay (+28); Auckland (+21); Otago/Southland/Nelson/Marlborough (+21); and Waikato (+15). They are weakest in Taranaki/Manawatu-Wanganui (0) and Canterbury (+2).
  • Different regions have different strengths and weaknesses: Taranaki/Manawatu-Wanganui highlighted lower operating costs (24%), while Canterbury was most positive for having a well-developed infrastructure (24%).
  • Auckland leads the way for its connection to the world (18%) and its skilled labour force, and Wellington for its educated population (24%), innovation (20%), and technological expertise (12%). Waikato led the way for entrepreneurship and start up culture (10%).
  • As a good place to have a business, Bay of Plenty/Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay led the way, with a score of 86 out of a possible 100.