Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Business Confidence Survey, Sponsored by Bronze Partner, Red Hot Business Coaching & Consulting

Don’t Go it Alone

If you’ve ever been curious about having someone on the outside help you with your business – there has never been a better time than this current Covid environment. Find out more about our Bronze Partners, Red Hot Business Coaching & Consulting, here.

Business Confidence Quick Survey Report – October 2023

The Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce completed this Business Confidence Survey in October 2023.

The survey was completed with the support of Bronze Partner, Red Hot Business Coaching & Consultancy.

Key Findings – October 2023 Business Confidence Survey

Outlook is optimistic for businesses after the General Election.
There is a mood towards a more optimistic outlook from businesses following the initial results for the General Election 2023. Just over 57% of businesses feel like they are more or somewhat more optimistic since the Election. A further 33% feel their view is unchanged.
Some of the areas that are coming through the comments which reflect this optimism are the potential for change in compliance requirements for businesses.

Businesses see conditions improving for ‘their business’ and ‘New Zealand’ in the next 12 months
There is a view that business conditions for ‘their business’ will start to improve over the next 12 months. Whilst over 60% think conditions for their business will be the same for the next 3 months, the outlook for ‘much or somewhat better’ conditions over the next 6-month to 12-month periods shows a positive trend. In particular the there is a jump of +20% for the 6-month outlook and over 50% for the 12-month outlook. Whilst the outlook for New Zealand is slightly less bouyant, the trend is similar to that for their businesses.

Cost of doing business is still a factor that concerns businesses
The cost of doing business continues to be a factor which concerns businesses in the Hutt Valley. Only 17% think that costs will be somewhat or much less. 43% consider that the cost of doing business will be much more or somewhat more expensive, and 46% say it will be the same. Businesses are concerned also about a reduction in central government spending with views that ‘businesses may be adversely affected by cuts to government expenses’.

The availability of staff will continue to be a challenge. As we have seen in other surveys during 2023 (and in previous years), businesses in the Hutt Valley continue to look for staff. Just under 50% need staff now and over 66% expect to need recruit staff in the next 12 months.
The ongoing feedback we have from businesses is that finding experienced staff continues to be a challenge. Some businesses have been accessing immigration for their staff needs.

Business Confidence Quick Survey Report – July 2023

The Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce completed this Business Confidence Survey in July 2023.

The survey was completed with the support of Bronze Partner, Red Hot Business Coaching & Consultancy.

Key Findings – July 2023 Business Confidence Survey

The overall picture from this survey is that there is a continuing ‘Cost of doing business crisis’ with over 85% of businesses expecting that the cost of doing business will be ‘Much More or Somewhat More’ expensive over the next 6 months. This is an increase of nearly 7% compared to March 2023 and a 12.5% increase from January 2023.

For the first time in about 2 years, we have seen a slow down in the immediate need for staff with only 38.1% of businesses saying that they are experiencing issues with filling staff vacancies in their business. This is 15.1% change from March 23 when over 50% of businesses were experiencing issues in recruiting staff. We would suggest that this is a direct result of businesses feeling the impact of higher costs and the economic slowdown.

Planning is key for any business and it would appear that planning ahead has been a key activity for Hutt Valley businesses, with 84.2% of businesses having planned and already factored the change in economic situation to their business decisions or have made no change to their approach to their business planning. This indicates that most businesses have been working hard to be ready for this current economic situation.

There are some factors which are a continued trend from previous surveys. These include:

  • 9% of businesses indicated that they are you expecting to need to recruit staff in the next 12 months. Whilst this is down slightly from the high experienced in March 2023 (at 68.75%) it does suggest that there is still demand for staff as businesses start to consider the next 12 months.
  • There is a continued business sentiment for ‘their business’ in the 3-month and 12-month outlook with businesses expecting that things will be 17.7% and 8.62% ‘Somewhat Better or Much Better’ respectively.

One other area of positive outlook is an overall increase in the business sentiment for ‘New Zealand’ in the 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month outlook with businesses expecting that things will be 5%, 11.8% and 15% ‘Somewhat Better or Much Better’ respectively when compared to March 2023. Most of this sentiment has changed from businesses feeling New Zealand will be ‘Much Worse of Somewhat Worse’.