Saturday, April 6th, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

Business Confidence in Australia continued its run above 120 in March to be virtually unchanged at 122.9, just 0.9 below the February peak. These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Research Business Confidence survey of over 2,750 businesses in March 2013.

 

Business Confidence in Australia continued its run above 120 in March to be virtually unchanged at 122.9, just 0.9 below the February peak. These are the latest findings from the Roy Morgan Research Business Confidence survey of over 2,750 businesses in March 2013.

The small fluctuations so far in 2013 represent a period of relative stability in overall Business Confidence not seen in over a year.

Pessimism rose, albeit slightly, or was steady in all five components that comprise overall Confidence. The proportion of businesses reporting they are worse off now than 12 months ago increased from 30% in February to 32% in March, while expectation of being worse off this time next year also rose, from 12% to 13%.

The proportion who believes Australia will have bad economic conditions in the next 12 months grew from 33% to 34% but negative outlook for the country as whole over the next five years continued at 27%.

42% of businesses say the next 12 months will be a bad time to invest in expanding the business, steady from February and still well down from 51% a year ago.

Confidence among NSW businesses jumped 5.7 points to 126.1—the highest level since May 2011—putting the state’s level of confidence ahead of Victoria’s for the first time in almost two years.

These Business Confidence results are in line with Consumer Confidence results for the same period, which show that recent increases in Confidence have peaked in March 2013 at 121.8 in the week ended April 1st.

Nigel Smith, Director of Business Research, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“A variety of business indicators now show that during January and February of this year, Australian businesses experienced a brief upturn in confidence and overall business conditions. However March marks the end of that upturn – whatever boost the small cuts in interest rates in late 2012 may have brought to the overall level of demand in the economy that effect appears to have run its course.

“The question for businesses over coming months, with official interest rates at their lowest point since the GFC, the Australian dollar still above parity with the US dollar, and the likely next Australian government promising to cut Government debt, is where will the next stimulus to consumer demand come from?”

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Source: Roy Morgan Business Survey (Australia), December 2010 – March 2013 (average monthly sample size n=2113)

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Keywords

Business Confidence , 120 in March

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