Story image

Kiwi SMBs optimistic as growth expectations hit two-year high – ANZ survey

26 Jul 2017

After a slow start to the year, confidence among small businesses rebounded in the June quarter, and their activity expectations are the highest in two years, according to ANZ’s Business Micro Scope survey.

A net 17% of small firms are confident about business conditions over the year ahead, up from 14% in the March quarter.

The rise in confidence is mirrored in other key indicators for small business sentiment and activity tracked by the survey.

The ANZ composite measure – a key proxy for growth based on a firm’s own activity outlook, hiring, investment and profit expectations – improved to +22, its highest since Q1 2015.

The most positive outlook was from intermediate businesses (6 to 20 staff) which edged up from +27 to +29, while micro businesses (up to five staff) held at +15.

“As we approach the middle of the year, small businesses are increasingly upbeat about investment, employment and profit expectations,” says Antonia Watson, ANZ’s retail and business banking managing director.

“They’re confident in the New Zealand business environment over the next 12 months, and their own growth prospects during that time.

“Profit expectations are particularly strong with a net 28% of small firms expecting higher profits on the horizon – the highest for the past three years and a sentiment shared by businesses across a broad range of sectors.”

However, the quarterly survey again highlighted a significant problem holding back small business was a shortage of skilled labour.

A net 23% of small businesses reported a lack of skilled employees as their biggest problem, followed closely by regulation on 22%.

Regionally, growth prospects for Wellington firms came off their high peaks, with a drop in hiring expectations pulling the composite measure down 6% points.

Auckland eased slightly while better profit expectations drove growth in the composite measure for other centres.

Highlights from the June 2017 ANZ Business Micro Scope survey of small firms:

[Net percentages reflect the balance of sentiment, i.e. percent positive minus percent negative responses]

• Headline small business confidence increased 3 points to a net 17%.

• Our growth composite measure for small firms reached its highest mark in two years of +22.

• A net 35% of small firms expect a lift in their business activity over the next year.

• Firming prices for dairy and soft commodities saw activity expectations among agriculture-sector firms climb 8% points to +15, the highest for the sector in three years; Services leads on +28 with Construction on +27.

• The growth composite for Wellington came off recent giddy heights but is still streets ahead of other regions on +35, followed by Rest of South Island on +27.

• Lack of skilled staff, regulation, competition and low turnover are the top of small business owners’ concerns.

Winners of 2019 Adobe Experience Maker and Marketo Revvie Awards announced
The Adobe Experience Maker Awards recognise Adobe Experience Cloud customers and partners.
Adobe opens up marketing opportunities with Roku
Adobe and streaming TV platform Roku are now offering Adobe customers the ability to precisely target consumer audiences moving to over-the-top content (OTT).
Adobe Summit kicks off the future of customer experience in Las Vegas
“Today, at Adobe Summit, we unveiled significant new capabilities in Adobe Experience Cloud, including the introduction of Adobe Commerce Cloud and Marketo Engage, and general availability of Adobe Experience Platform.”
Interview: CloudBNE's world of AR, AI, and geospatial tech
“In New Zealand I used to hear, ‘we are so small; the market isn’t big enough…’ I often hear the same thing in Australia and even through parts of Asia.  Could we have launched CloudBNE in New Zealand? absolutely.”
NZ's aged care population held back by digital divide
Aged care facilities are slow to provide WiFi access for residents, and interviewees said they would like to see aged care operators provide more support.
‘Buy-now-pay-later’ taking consumer markets by storm
A new survey shows that young people are embracing this new method of purchasing, with over 1.5 million users in the last year in Australia alone.
Better data management: Whose job is it?
An Experian executive’s practical advice on how to structure data-management roles within a modern business environment.
Platform9 and Intersect partner to bring unified cloud to A/NZ
“For Intersect, Platform9 represents the single most strategic solution to a set of challenges we see expanding across the board."