Roy Morgan Research’s latest Business Confidence survey in April 2014 remained steady on 120.9 compared to 120.6 in March and remains around the level seen in the month prior to the federal election (August 2013, 119.6). The lift in confidence to 136.3 seen with the new government has now dissipated and is likely to fall further in May as a result of the release of the National Commission of Audit Report and the Federal Budget. These April figures are the results of 1,325 interviews with all types of businesses across Australia.
In April there were some improvements in the proportion of businesses expecting that their business would be better off financially next year and that the economy would improve in the next 12 months. On the other hand there was some deterioration in the proportion of businesses considering the next 12 months to be a good time to invest in growing their business and an increase in the number that believe they are now worse off financially than they were 12 months ago.
Monthly Business Confidence - Australia
Source: Business Confidence, Roy Morgan Business Single Source (Australia), December 2010 – April 2014, average monthly sample, n = 2162.
Mining remains the most confident sector (150.9), followed by finance and insurance (139.9). The high-profile sectors in which hopes for economic recovery have been focused remain below the average confidence level and are showing no improvement, with retail on 108.0, construction at 113.7 and manufacturing at 115.3.
All states now have very similar levels of confidence, with Western Australia the highest on 126.4, followed by Tasmania (122.4), South Australia (121.4), New South Wales (119.2), Victoria (119.0) and Queensland (117.6). In April, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia all showed some decline while New South Wales and Tasmania improved.
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“The lack of improvement in business confidence in April was probably to be expected given the uncertainty regarding the forthcoming budget and the rumours that were circulating during the month. The hoped-for improvement in confidence in the key areas of retail, construction and manufacturing, were seen as making up for a slowdown in the mining industry, did not happen during April. These sectors all remain below average in confidence, which is not a good sign for economic recovery.
“The National Commission of Audit Report released at the beginning of May has had a dramatic negative impact on the ANZ- Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence level in the first two weeks of this month and is likely to have a negative impact on business confidence in May and beyond. The full impact of the report will depend on the extent to which the Federal Government implements the commission’s recommendations.”
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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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