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NZ business confidence sinks to 18-month low in third quarter -NZIER

Kitco News

WELLINGTON, Oct 3 (Reuters) - New Zealand business confidence sunk in the third quarter to its lowest since March 2016 as the general election generated uncertainty, a private think tank said on Tuesday.

A net 5 percent of firms surveyed expected general business conditions to improve compared with 18 percent in the previous quarter, the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research's (NZIER) quarterly survey of business opinion (QSBO) showed.

The survey's measure of capacity utilisation was 91.3 percent, from the previous quarter's 92.1 percent.

NZIER said that business confidence usually drops off ahead of Parliamentary elections, which took place on Sept. 23, and that the result would reinforce the central bank's determination to keep rates on hold at record lows.

(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield and Ana Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Chris Reese)

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