A new BNZ survey of its own bankers has revealed where the economy is firing and where it isn't.

Retail, agriculture and construction standout as the weak patches for the economy right now, according to the BNZ Business Banker Survey launched today.

But the survey found that Business confidence overall was positive in the fourth quarter - a more upbeat view than some of the direct polling of business owners has found.

Conditions were much stronger for non-agribusinesses than agribusinesses.


Confidence was highest for technology firms, followed by tourism and hospitality, health, and business services.

Confidence was lower for retailers, agriculture, and construction.

The biggest influence on confidence is availability of suitable labour - identified by around one in six bankers

BNZ has launched the survey to recognise the insight its bankers get from business customers around the country.

It polled more than 300 of its bankers who represent tens of thousands of customers.

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

The survey highlighted some regional differences.

Conditions were strongest in Wellington, followed by the east coast of the North Island (Bay of Plenty/Gisborne/Hawke's Bay) and Auckland.


The weakest regions were in Taranaki/Manawatu-Wanganui & Canterbury.

The bankers were also asked to assess credit demand in their regions.

They broadly the results showed it had increased in the December quarter and a majority of bankers expected it to increase in the next three months.

They were also asked for an assessment of the housing market in their regions.

Overall the results pointed to a modest average increase of just 1.4 per cent in the next 12 months.

The strongest growth was picked for Wellington with 5.6 per cent.

The outlook was least promising for Auckland where the bankers projected prices to fall by 0.2 per cent.