The curse on world trade at the moment has not yet made itself evident in New Zealand.
That came home to me last weekend when family returned from a holiday in Singapore, where they used to live, and my son-in-law remarked on how flat its economy seemed.
Ships stood empty in the straits, he said, the place lacked its usual bustle, the mood had sunk as low as the growth rate.
He's a diplomat by instinct and profession and does not rush to judgment, he observes carefully and reports cautiously. He wouldn't have mentioned this malaise unless it was palpable.
Singapore? Hard to imagine. Every time I've been there it has been visibly booming, its energy and prosperity evident in constant reconstruction. The downtown skyline has completely changed just about every decade as magnificent buildings were replaced with even grander towers.
I haven't been beyond Australia for the past year. There as here, the damage Donald Trump is doing still seems far away. It is the main factor cited by economists and commentators to explain low business confidence in this part of the world but not the only one.
Business in New Zealand is still reporting confidence in its own industries, it is the economy that is causing uncertainty, and that is important because it inhibits investment.
Business confidence has been down since the change of government two years ago and it easy to ascribe it to natural distrust of a Labour government. People in business see Labour as a party of public servants who have never put their own money at risk or known the fearful responsibilities of employing people and keeping them in profitable work.
But the past three Labour governments have been aware of their business limitations and this has made them more fiscally responsible than National governments on the whole. Grant Robertson has just announced the budget for 2018-19 ended in a surplus of $7.5 billion, if you count a ridiculous revaluation of the railway.
John Roughan: Historical apologies make me uncomfortable - we should be proud of Cook
John Roughan: Why I will be casting a vote next week
Excluding the railway, the surplus was just over $5 billion, thanks to $6 billion more tax coming in than expected, which in turn reflected population and employment growth over the year to June 30.
That healthy picture raises again the question, what were Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr and his Monetary Policy Committee thinking when they startled money markets here and overseas by dropping the official cash rate so drastically in August?
He said it was designed to boost business confidence, which it has failed to do. It did the reverse. It left business and investors wondering what the bank knew about the outlook for the New Zealand economy that was not apparent to them. Orr eventually had to declare the bank had no secret information, this was just its judgment.
When people who speak for business are asked why confidence is low they mention the Reserve Bank's recent performance at the end of a list, almost as an afterthought. They first blame international tensions and trade wars, the Government, Auckland traffic, anything mildly annoying. Worried people usually leave their real anxiety to last.
While they found the bank's rate cut disconcerting rather than confidence-inspiring, business lobbies rather liked Orr's urging the Government to match his stimulus with additional public spending on unspecified "infrastructure". So do business commentators, and the Labour left, the Greens and just about everyone it seems.
Business should be careful what it wishes for, especially after that budget surplus. Australia's federal budget was finally balanced last month, prompting commentator Judith Sloan to warn in The Australian , "Most stimulus spending is wasteful; its timing is almost always wrong; many measures are difficult to reverse; and it's not clear more government spending actually boosts economic growth, particularly in a small open economy."
When Orr dropped his rate in August he was preparing for the annual symposium of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the keenest discussion would have been about the use of unorthodox monetary instruments to boost economies where there is no inflation and interest rates are already near zero.
Having reduced his rate to 1 per cent, Orr happily contemplated negative rates if not "quantitative easing", excess money creation.
Australia and New Zealand have no need of that nonsense. It bears remembering the Australasian banks never succumbed to the follies that caused the global financial crisis, our central banks never needed to adopt unorthodox monetary stimulants after the crisis and with full employment we have no need of them now.
Not for the first time, our economy is proving resilient amid international adversity. It weathered the previous storms with sound, cautious, unruffled and predictable economic judgment in both the Beehive and the Reserve Bank.
We're seeing that in Robertson. If he wonders why business is uncertain, he should look at the bank.