A global survey of corporates by HSBC shows New Zealand businesses remain resilient and optimistic about their prospects despite the pandemic.
HSBC's Navigator Survey involves interviews with more than 10,000 corporates in 39 countries worldwide.
It has been running for many years on a six monthly basis but this was the first time New Zealand corporates had been included, HSBC New Zealand interim chief executive Rob Roughan said.
About 50 New Zealand companies - from the largest corporates through to mid-tier - had been surveyed.
About 36 per cent of local businesses were either already more profitable than last year or expected to be next year, the survey found
From a sales and revenue perspective, New Zealand business was broadly in line with the global trend.
About 60 per cent of New Zealand companies expected sales to increase over the next year.
For New Zealand those expecting in excess of 5 per cent sales growth next year, the percentage was 30 per cent.
One for the upsides for the New Zealand economy had been the strength of global trade through the pandemic, said Roughan said.
"Clearly Covid had an impact on trade globally but given the depth of recessions seeing around the world it has probably hit trade less severally than expected."
Pre-Covid the survey had found 81 per cent of corporates had a positive outlook on their trade prospects.
That had only dropped to 70 per cent in the latest survey and New Zealand responses ere in line with that number.
Within the Asia Pacific region there had also been an increase in companies looking to trade within the region - up from 67 per cent to 71 per cent.
"Coming just after the signing of RCEP [the trade deal] that's a good sign of more Asian integration and New Zealand is part of that."
The survey really highlighted the fact that while "we've all been in the same storm, we're not in the same boat", Roughan said.
The most optimistic companies some obvious candidates such as those in the pharmaceutical industry.
But it had been surprising to see how strong some, like the advertising and marketing sector had held up, he said.
There had been investment in marketing and advertising to help stimulate demand.
"At the less optimistic end, it has been the suspects that you'd suspect - automobiles, tourism and international education."
One other local quirk in the survey was that New Zealand companies stood out in viewing company culture as the key determinant of a successful company in the future, Roughan said.
Forty-two per cent of local companies cited that as number one versus 25 per cent globally.
"That's possibly signalling an evolution of thinking," Roughan said.