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New Zealand Business Confidence Surges In November - ANZ

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An index measuring business confidence in New Zealand spiked to a score of 60.5 in November, the latest survey from ANZ Bank revealed on Thursday - touching a near 15-year high.

The headline figure was up sharply from 53.2 in October.

A score above 50 means expansion or optimism in a sector, while a reading below signals contraction or pessimism.

Among the individual components of the survey, the activity outlook was unchanged at 47.1, while profits climbed to 37.3 from 28.9 in the previous month.

Investment intentions moved up to 22.3 from 18.8 a month earlier, while employment intentions climbed to 23.1 from 18.7.

Exports were at 30.8, up from 16.9 in October - while inflation expectations rose from 2.38 percent to 2.43 percent.

Pricing intentions moved up to 25.3 from 22.1 a month prior.

The overall rise was driven by the retail sector, which surged to 70 from 48. Categories for expected profitability and labor hiring both hit 19-year highs, with readings of 37 and 23, respectively.

Expected profitability was the highest in the agriculture sector, while anticipated employment growth was the highest for the construction sector.

Export intentions rose 4 points to a two-year high, while capacity utilization lifted 5 points to an 11-year high of 29. Investment intentions rose to a level last seen in June, which also equaled a 10-year high.

"This will bring both challenges (rising interest rates and a stubbornly high exchange rate) and opportunities," ANZ Chief economist Cameron Bagrie said in a release accompanying the data.

"We're seeing growth without significantly rising inflation at present - a so-called goldilocks economy. How long she sleeps in our bed will increasingly come down to the underlying productivity story. The last thing New Zealand needs at present is for complacency to creep in," Bagrie added.

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