Business update: Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce

Every three months we run the Quarterly Canterbury Business Survey, which gathers insights from the wider business community.

Leeann Watson, Chief Executive

The survey looks at their confidence in the economy, their own performance, and their expectations looking forward for things like investment in plant and equipment, and bringing on more staff. We also ask what barriers they face which are getting in the way of doing those things.

Results during the last year have broadly showed that businesses in Canterbury are optimistic about their own earnings, but remain concerned about the direction of the economy in general. This concern is generally born from barriers to growth and productivity, such as labour market constraints and immigration settings, inflationary pressure and rising interest rates, and falling consumer demand.
What has changed recently is the growing concern about rising costs. Where labour market constraints had previously been the biggest concern, struggling to find staff post-Covid-19, they are now increasingly concerned about the growing increase in costs, which seem to pile on from all directions.

The concern about inflation and rising interest rates may seem obvious as they are the same costs you are facing at home, but when we combine those costs with what businesses tell us is a barrage of additional costs, including compliance burden, the result is businesses are less confident.

What’s the solution? Just like households, for businesses to be confident and invest they need to operate in an environment where costs can be managed and predicted, and where there aren’t additional or counterproductive costs being added to the mix.

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