Northland firms see optimism grow

By Mike Barrington

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Northland business confidence has jumped by more than a third in the past year.

A Chambers of Commerce survey reveals 63 per cent of Northland Business owners believed the general business situation in New Zealand would improve by March next year - down 9 per cent from the last quarter, but up 35 per cent on this time last year.

Despite business and consumer confidence, Northland Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Tony Collins said firms were waiting for the confidence to be translated into bottom line profit.

The survey last month by Chambers of Commerce in the Northern region, extending from Taupo north but excluding Auckland, shows confidence was steady, with an increasing number of businesses companies predicting things would stay the same compared to the previous quarter.

Results did not suggest any dramatic change in confidence this quarter, Mr Collins said.

"The results this quarter are what I would expect and reflect results of other New Zealand business monitors - which suggest confidence is still up and rising, and slower than earlier in the year," he said. "Respondents are still concerned about the value of the New Zealand dollar and both their ability to recruit staff and pay their wages."

Mr Collins said the number of respondents believing both New Zealand's situation and their business situation would stay the same increased 4 per cent on last quarter - a similar result to the first quarter this year.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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