Wednesday, 16 October 2019 00:27

Business confidence declines but scientific, technical & professional services buck the trend Featured

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Business confidence declines but scientific, technical & professional services buck the trend Image hywards, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The scientific & technical and professional services industries were amongst the industry sectors performing well, above the average, in September according to the latest business confidence report by Roy Morgan Research.

According to Roy Morgan business confidence dropped 3.7pts (-3.2%) to 110.6 in September and, despite a month-on-month drop, business confidence has now averaged 113.4 post-election - an increase of over 8pts above the pre-election period during the first four months of the year.

Also performing well were education & training, transport, postal & warehousing and property & business services.

Roy Morgan says the decrease was broadly based across the five indices, with the largest decline for views about the long-term prospects for the Australian economy - with the good news that measures for the next year held up well, with 52.5% saying the coming year is a ‘good time to invest in growing the business’ and 51.7% expecting the business to be ‘better off’ this time next year.

These latest Roy Morgan Business Confidence results in September are based on 951 detailed interviews with a cross-section of Australian businesses from each State and Territory.

The annual increase has been driven in NSW, WA, Tasmania and Queensland which Roy Morgan says all increased compared to the September quarter a year ago, while in contrast there were declines in both Victoria and SA.

And business confidence is now highest in WA at 128.3, up 7.3pts from a year ago, and Tasmania at 124.6, up by a significant 16.9pts.

Meanwhile business confidence in Queensland is now at 113.5 - up by 0.5pts on a year ago - All three of these states NSW, Tasmania and Queensland - have higher business confidence than the national figure.

Australia’s two largest States are lagging, with business confidence below the national average.

There was an improvement in NSW with the index increasing 6.8pts to 111.4 but business confidence has fallen by 5.6pts to only 106.3 in Victoria – the lowest of any State.

“Roy Morgan Business Confidence dropped 3.7pts to 110.6 in September with slight declines across all five indices but remains in a healthier position than a year ago and during early 2019. Business Confidence averaged only 105.3 in the pre-election months of January-April,” says Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan.

“These strong figures indicate that businesses are looking forward, moving past the weakness exhibited early in the year as Australians headed to the polls. The ABS reported GDP growth of only 0.5% in the June quarter 2019 when the Federal Election was held.

“The positive sentiment is particularly evident in the States of NSW, Queensland, WA and Tasmania for which Business Confidence is now higher than it was a year ago. Queensland is the next State to face an election, on the same weekend as next year’s US Election.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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