Optimism returns to nation’s businesses
Firms throughout Australia may find they are able to invest in HR consulting and other areas this year, as confidence begins to return to business owners. Results from the latest Commonwealth Bank Future Business Index show that despite a number of challenges, firms are generally hopeful about what 2015 has in store.
More businesses said they are focusing on growth during the second quarter of the year and in many cases are prioritising it over cost management. There was also a rise in the number of companies expected to increase their debt facilities in a bid to find their expansion plans.
Michael Cant, executive general manager of corporate financial services at Commonwealth Bank, said many businesses are in good financial shape at the moment.
“Many businesses are also refining their risk management approach, increasing cash reserves and taking steps to ensure they are better prepared for further volatility,” noted Mr Cant.
“Overall, mid-market organisations are planning for growth, but are prepared for uncertainty.”
Further survey findings revealed that Queensland is the most confident state in the country, even though it recorded a 9.3 per cent fall on the index in January compared to the December quarter. Meanwhile, New South Wales experienced the greatest rise in confidence, with its reading up 12.1 per cent from the first three months of the year.
It also seems that consumers are seeing increased confidence as well, which will undoubtedly have knock-on effects for the corporate environment.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index for the week ending February 1 showed that confidence is currently around its long-term average, despite recording two consecutive declines. However, there are high hopes that the 0.25 per cent cut to the official cash rate on February 3 will soon start to improve levels of sentiment even further.