Roy Morgan Research’s latest Business Confidence survey in January 2014 increased to 131.5, up from 125.2 in December, and well up on January 2013 (122.5) and January 2012 (118.7). This positive start to the year was across all business sizes as well as most states and industries. These January figures are the results of 1,546 interviews with all types of businesses across Australia.
The improvement in confidence among business in January was caused by an increase in positive feelings about where the economy is heading in the next 12 months and the next five years. There has also been an increase in positive feeling as to how businesses are feeling financially as compared to a year ago.
This increase in Business Confidence in January was higher among micro business up 6.8 points to 130.1, small business up 2.7 points to 140.0, but medium/large business were fairly steady (up 1.1 points to 148.2). Medium/large businesses (turnover $5m+ p.a.) have clearly been the most confident over the last three years and in January, they remain well above their three-year average.
Monthly Business Confidence – Australia
Source: Business Confidence, Roy Morgan Business Single Source, average monthly sample n = 2,222.
All states except WA have shown improvement in business confidence during January, with the biggest gain being in Vic, which increased to 134.3 (up from 118.8 in December) to become the most confident state. Confidence across all states is very positive except for Tasmania, which is well below average on 113.5.
Of the major industries, Mining still leads confidence in January with 158.6 (down from 160.7 in December), Retail is showing some improvement, up from 123.0 in December to 126.0 in January and Construction is on 127.4 (up from 126.4 in December). The agricultural sector remains well below average with 113.0, down further on the 119.4 recorded in December.
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“The improvement in business confidence was expected to some extent, based on the fact that historically it normally shows some improvement in January. However, it was probably boosted by the lack of bad economic stories in January compared to what occurred in November and December.
“The positive January result came just before the government’s decision not to support SPC and to take a very hard line on assistance to industry, including drought relief. In addition to these negative stories in early February, the Federal Treasurer has been preparing the nation for a really tough budget to be handed down in May.
“We have seen in the past that business confidence is very sensitive to major negative or positive economic events, which were largely absent in January but could easily re-emerge in coming months.”
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Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
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