Business confidence reaches highest levels since 2009

Published on Aug 13, 2018

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Australian small and medium businesses (SMB) are more confident in 2018, with NSW regional businesses in particular feeling increasingly secure about their economic futures. The latest Sensis Business Index (SBI) survey data reveals that business confidence has increased across Australia (the only exception was a 1 point decrease in Victoria).

The June quarter saw an increase of 7 percentage points which took the national average to +49. This is the highest confidence level since December 2009, when the global financial crisis started impacting on the economy.



How is business confidence measured?

The data regarding business confidence comes from the quarterly SBI survey of 1,000 small and medium businesses across metropolitan and regional Australia. Participating businesses owners are asked a broad range of question on all aspects of their business; past, present and future. They are also asked to consider the impact of various government policies. These findings are tallied into easy-to-read charts (see below). The survey data has been used to report quarterly economic trends since 1993.


Strong growth in NSW

NSW regional businesses have recorded an impressive 20 percentage point increase in confidence taking it to +51. NSW as a whole also saw a significant increase of 13 points, which took it to +56. This is seven percentage points above the national average.

The NSW economy also recorded strong jobs growth with more than 27,000 new positions created in June, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This equates to almost 1,000 jobs per day.


Industry performance by sector

Confidence levels range from +29 in Accommodation, Cafes and Restaurants (up 1 point) to +59 in Finance and Insurance (a rise of 19 points). The biggest rise in confidence occurred in Transport and Storage which was up 25 points to +46.

Health and Community Services rose by 12 points to +54, and Retail Trade was up 11 points to +30. The only fall was observed in Manufacturing from a previous record high (down 21 points to +34).


Payroll tax cuts welcomed

Not surprisingly taxation continues to be the hot button topic. A cut to payroll tax has therefore been welcomed by small business.

As of 7 August 2018 small businesses will benefit from a lift to the payroll tax threshold from $750,000 to $850,000. It will continue to rise by a further $50,000 a year for the next three years.


For the full 2018 June quarter Sensis report