RTTNews - Business confidence in New Zealand improved further in August, reflecting a surge in firms' own activity expectations, the latest survey from the National Bank showed Monday.

A net 34.2% of firms now expect the general business conditions to improve in the next 12 months compared to a net 18.7% in July. This was reflected by a major jump in confidence across all major segments including retailing, manufacturing, agriculture, construction and services.

Firms' own activity expectations climbed to a near five-year high, with a net 26% of firms expecting activity levels to improve over the next one year compared to a net 12.6% in July.

Export intentions rose to a ten-month high, with a net 21.2% firms expecting exports to increase over the next 12 months compared to a net 14.2% in the preceding month.

Regarding investment expectations, there was a surge in the perceptions towards residential investment, with a net 48% of respondents expecting better times ahead- the highest reading since 1994.

At the same time, profits expectations turned positive, and employment expectations were also less negative.

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