BUSINESS CONFIDENCE FRAGILE BUT GROWING

BUSINESS CONFIDENCE FRAGILE BUT GROWING

CONFIDENCE is growing in a wide range of sectors and more than half of businesses will invest in further growth in the next year, says a new study.

A range of industries reported improved optimism in the month to October in Roy Morgan’s Business Confidence in Australia report, but industry communications director Norman Morris says conditions remain volatile.

Confidence improved 4.7 points to 114, from 109.3 in September, with 53 per cent of businesses surveyed indicating the next 12 months will be a good time to invest in growing their business, up from 49 per cent.

Morris warns the positive signs are fragile and could easily reverse and remain at historically low levels.

“With a very precarious situation in a number of European countries, talk of the USA approaching the ‘fiscal cliff’, Chinese growth slowing and the high Australian dollar, business confidence is likely to remain volatile,” he says.

“It is worth remembering that although the current level of business confidence has shown some improvement in October to reach 114, it remains well below the level seen in January 2011 when it was 132.9.”

The confidence boost was not uniform across all industries: construction, hospitality, healthcare and finance all improved, while confidence in the mining industry, retail and manufacturing industries fell.

Businesses in all states remain positive and WA remains near the top on 116.9 just behind Victoria on 117.0, but there. Is little difference in confidence between the states.

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