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N.Z. Business Confidence Recovered in November, ANZ Says

New Zealand business confidence rose for the first time in four months in November, halting declines prompted by the European debt crisis and a downgrade of the government’s credit rating.

A net 18.3 percent of companies expect the economy will improve over the next 12 months, up from 13.2 percent in October, according to a survey released in Wellington today by ANZ National Bank Ltd. A measure of expectations for better company sales and earnings increased to 28.8 percent, compared with 26.1 percent last month.

A recovery in sentiment may signal faster economic growth in 2012 amid record-low interest rates and rebuilding of the earthquake-devastated city of Christchurch. The poll was taken before the Nov. 26 re-election of Prime Minister John Key, who’s promising less government spending and asset sales.

“Businesses have a reasonable spring in their step,” Wellington-based ANZ Bank Chief Economist Cameron Bagrie said in an e-mailed statement. “It’s not what we would call a convincing bounce, however after three months of steady moves lower, any movement to buck the emerging downward trend is welcome.”

The New Zealand dollar was little changed after the report, buying 74.94 U.S. cents at 1:13 p.m. in Wellington from 75.01 cents immediately before the release.

A net 4.3 percent of the 447 companies surveyed expect profits to improve, up from 1.6 percent in October, today’s report showed. The net figure subtracts the number of pessimists from the number of optimists.

Investment intentions increased while the hiring outlook deteriorated, with 5.9 percent of firms expecting to add workers, the report showed.

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