Monday, 19th May, 2014

A business confidence survey undertaken with over 600 businesses by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce indicates confidence peaked in February. It suggests continuing high levels of confidence but there are some warnings. Chamber chief executive, Michael Barnett, said that increased interest rates, difficulties finding staff with the right skills and cash flow issues all seemed to be creating a drag on what most had hoped was a recovering economy.

Key Findings:

  • A net 58% of firms believe general situation will improve over the next six months compared to the record 69% of this view in February this year.
  • Over 30% of businesses are having difficulty finding the right employees with the right skills.
  • 87% of respondents expect interest rates to rise over the next 12 months.
  • Firms surveyed indicated that for the next three months employment expectations were down along with hours to be worked; selling prices and profitability showed no change this quarter.

Commenting, Chamber chief executive Michael Barnett observed that a major concern had to be that at a time of growth firms are having difficulty recruiting people with the rights skills. Knowing we have an election ahead and that further hikes in interest rates are imminent, businesses need to be purposeful in their planning and should be thinking what actions might be required to maintain current levels of growth.

“We have managed the cost- cutting cycle well but need to focus now on how we manage growth,” he said.

For more results of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce May 2014 Business Confidence Survey, please click here.

For more information contact Michael Barnett, mobile: 0275 631 150.
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Chamber of Commerce.