New Zealand export expectations have peaked to their highest level in six years.

The latest Grant Thornton International Business Report reveals expectations have shot up from 15 per cent in the second quarter to 21 per cent in the third - the highest quarterly figure ever recorded.

Australia, Singapore and Japan were recorded as the countries to have seen the healthiest export increases. Australia exports increased to 38 per cent in the thir quarter, Singapore to 6 per cent and Japan to 16 per cent.

Paul Kane, Partner, Privately Held Business at Grant Thornton New Zealand said export hopes among businesses in Asia Pacific's developed nations were now higher than recorded in any previous quarter.


"Despite uncertainty across the wider global economy, these firms are looking overseas with enthusiasm. It suggests a bounce in expectations since the Trans Pacific Partnership was signed in February, despite the threat of it stalling," Kane said. "But these export figures also provide encouraging evidence that in many economies, reliance on China as a trading partner is reducing. China will undoubtedly remain an important export destination for many, but not to the same extent as in previous years."

New Zealand business optimism has remained stable at 76 per cent since the beginning of the year and sits in fourth place out of the 37 countries surveyed.

"Optimism in Asia Pacific is travelling in different directions this quarter when split between emerging and developed economies," Kane said.

"The outlook for Asia as a whole is mixed, but opportunities exist for the most dynamic businesses to make the most of trade flows both domestically and overseas. New partnerships and agreements will open new doors, but firms must be ready to capitalise."