Business confidence has plummeted to its lowest level in a decade, according to a new survey.
The latest ANZ survey describes business confidence as being 'in a funk', with business confidence dropping five points and nearly half of respondents expecting business conditions to deteriorate in the year ahead.
In Parliament, National leader Simon Bridges asked Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters if he accepts that the country has its worst business confidence levels since the Global Financial Crisis.
But Mr Peters said those comments were "balderdash".
A net 45 percent of firms surveyed expect general business conditions to deteriorate in the coming 12 months, the lowest that measure has been since May 2008.
But Finance Minister Grant Robertson told RadioLIVE Drive the economy is simply in a transitional period.
Retail was the least confident sector in the latest ANZ survey. Retail New Zealand CEO Scott Fisher confirmed there's broad concern in the sector, with the rising cost of labour, rates and rentals unable to be passed on to consumers.
"Confidence varies by region and sector, with clothing and footwear retailers under particular pressure," Mr Fisher said.
Listen to the full interview with Grant Robertson above.