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Nov. 30, 2020, 2:17 a.m. EST

New Zealand confidence boosted by vaccine progress

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By Stephen Wright

WELLINGTON, New Zealand--Business confidence improved in New Zealand in November, likely boosted by fast-rising house prices and progress with coronavirus vaccine candidates.

A net 6.9% of respondents in the monthly survey were pessimistic about the economic outlook compared with more than twice that level of pessimism in preliminary results released early in November, banking group ANZ said Monday.

The confidence indicator was at its highest since late 2017, albeit still in overall pessimistic territory.

"Excellent vaccine news may have had something to do with the lift seen across the survey this month, and very likely the spending vibe associated with the still-buoyant housing market," ANZ said.

Firms' expectations for their own activity also improved. Net 9.1% said they expected better trading, double the proportion early in November.

Write to Stephen Wright at stephen.wright@wsj.com

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