Cameron Bagrie, Chief Economist at ANZ, notes that the NZ’s business confidence moved down a gear in February. Key Quotes “The optimists are still in the driver’s seat; a net +7% are optimistic about the general economy over the year ahead. Sentiment fell in all sectors bar manufacturing. The foot is pressing more softly on the accelerator. That’s a far cry from tapping on the brakes. But less enthusiasm to accelerate is clear. • Firms’ own activity expectations eased from +34 to +26. That’s slightly below the average historical speed. • Profit expectations receded from +18 to +12. Firms are still profitable, but marginally less so. • Employment intentions fell from +20 to +12. Drivers are still wanted. • Investment intentions were largely unchanged at +14. A pit stop. • Export intentions were up (+23 versus +19). Hardly stellar but not a bad sign given slowing global trade trends. • Residential investment intentions fell from +32 to +14. Commercial construction intentions receded from +45 to +24. • Pricing gauges drifted lower. Inflation expectations hit a historical low of 1.4%. Pricing intentions dropped from +24 to +18. • The picture, after adjusting for seasonality, is largely the same.” For more information, read our latest forex news.