Business confidence continues to slide, with New Zealand companies the most downbeat in a decade, since the height of the global financial crisis.
The Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion (QSBO) for the June quarter, released on Tuesday, showed a fall in general confidence.
More importantly, the majority of businesses surveyed said they expect their own activity to contract in the coming quarter.
This is the more important indicator. Business owners know what the environment for their own business is like.
Christina Leung, principal economist at the Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), which undertakes the QSBO, said the measures suggest gross domestic product (GDP) would fall below 2 per cent in the second half of 2019, below what economists generally had been expecting.
Manufacturers were the most pessimistic in the survey, with a net 23 per cent reporting a fall in output.
Who recalls Labour, Greens and NZ First claiming a manufacturing crisis under National? They even published a report. Of course there wasn’t. But now there maybe.