This month’s National Bank business confidence survey makes for grim reading. A net 58 percent of businesses expect business conditions to deteriorate over the coming year. This is down from 44 percent reported last month. Confidence is weaker across all the five major subgroups: retailing, manufacturing, agriculture, construction and services.
Firm’s expectations towards their own business has now turned negative, the first time since early 2006. A net 6 percent of businesses expect a deterioration in their own business over the coming year. Firm’s own activity expectations are seldom negative. Negative reads in firm’s own activity expectations have only been recorded 12 times in the 20-year history of the survey. Five of these were right at the start of the survey in 1988, as the 1987 crash washed through. The last time we saw firm’s own activity expectations this weak was in 1991.
Also National Bank needs to be a finalist for the 2008 spin awards with this line:
While recessionary fears are percolating, we prefer to characterise such challenging times as entering a stage of deferred achievement.
Ha. Watch Dr Cullen grab this line. It is not a recession, just a period of deferred growth 🙂