Recovery in pre-Christmas confidence levels
Companies throughout the country are generally more optimistic as the festive season approaches, as expectations improve across the board.
The latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute Small Business Index reading stands at 123 points, up 10.4 per cent compared to the previous three-month period.
This is even despite many companies citing macroeconomic conditions as having a negative impact on their operations (35.5 per cent) and many also being concerned about excessive regulation (32.2 per cent).
Some regional variations also emerged through the survey, with New South Wales witnessing the greatest increase in confidence levels at 19.5 per cent.
Meanwhile, companies in Queensland saw their confidence increase 8.3 per cent, while Western Australia’s reading was up 2.1 per cent. Victoria was the only state to record a decrease at 2 per cent.
Of the firms polled, 41.1 per cent believe they’ll see a rise in business activity and sales over the next three months, while 11.9 per cent anticipate a decrease. The remainder forecast there will be little change.
Westpac’s General Manager of Small Business Julie Rynski revealed that all performance indices had witnessed a rise during the three months to November.
“After experiencing a dip in sentiment last quarter, it is encouraging to see small business confidence picking up across the nation in the lead up to Christmas,” Ms Rynski noted.
This follows the release of the latest ACCI Small Business Survey, which pointed to difficult conditions for many companies over the course of the September quarter.
Many are concerned about the state of the domestic economy, meaning some of them are having to make significant cutbacks and changes just to keep afloat during these difficult times.
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