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Optimistic lawyers could be good news for economy


Monday 11th July 2011

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Positive sentiment among lawyers was picked up in the latest BNZ monthly confidence survey, published today.

Rising optimism in the legal sector could indicate high levels of business confidence will lead to economic growth this year, after the false hopes of 2010.

The latest survey found a net 45 percent of respondents expected the economy would be better in a year's time.

While that was down from the record net 57 percent positive in early June, it was still among the most positive months recorded.

BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander said the results suggested strong growth in the economy was just down the track.

The jump in sentiment among those in the legal sector was a notable feature of the survey, Alexander said.

A year ago a decline in comments from lawyers and accountants had been the only real sign that still high confidence at that time was not leading to strong short-term growth.

"Therefore presumably a jump in lawyer sentiment and to a lesser extent that from accountants signals some solidity to optimistic growth expectations," Alexander said.

In the retailing sector feedback was notably less negative than for quite some time, while in residential real estate buyer numbers were rising and the dominant theme was of a shortage of listings as vendors felt little pressure to sell.

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