NZ businesses show signs of optimism

Almost 65 percent of North Island businesses and just over 74 percent of South Island companies said they expect their turnover/revenue to lift. Ditto their profits with just over 72 percent of northern businesses and almost 62 percent in the south predicting improvements.

Paul Kane, Grant Thornton New Zealand partner, said the IBR results were in contrast with the global market.

On the employment front, 37 percent of North Island and 40 percent of South Island businesses expect jobs to increase but the availability of skilled workers is concern, especially in the south where 34 percent saw it as more than moderate issue versus 24 percent in the north.

Cost of finance was of low concern with 48 percent of North Island businesses and 55 percent in the South Island.

Asked if public private partnerships (PPPs) are the way of the future to develop New Zealand and its infrastructure, only 16 percent of respondents were against the idea.

Kane said it was clear that business wanted less involvement from government to pave the way for private enterprise.

However, the attitude towards privatising assets was less clear cut with opinion more evenly divided; 34 percent of New Zealand businesses were against such move, 30 percent said perhaps, and 36 percent were in favour.

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