As we speculated in our weekly New Zealand Dollar forecast, the second-quarter edition of the [B]NZIER Business Opinion Survey[/B] ticked higher to register at -25, meaning that a net 25% of the companies polled for the report believe the economy will deteriorate over the next six months. A record 65% of respondents were expecting worse conditions in the three months to March. Leading indicators were telegraphing a relative improvement, with the monthly NBNZ measure of business confidence rising steadily through the second quarter, swinging into positive territory in May for the first time since September 2008. Still, it remains to be seen if positive momentum can be maintained considering the soaring public deficit has seen Prime Minister John Key’s government abandon a hefty portion of the fiscal stimulus measures that had been included in the latest budget. Indeed, additional monetary easing may be in the cards in the weeks ahead despite RBNZ Governor Alan Bollard’s forecast that economic growth will pick up by the end of this year.