Roy Morgan Research’s Business Confidence survey in September 2014 improved by 6.8 points (+5.9%) from August (to 122.9), to the highest level since January 2014 and above the four year average.
Business confidence is now only 13.4 points (9.8%) below the peak of 136.3 in October 2013 following the election of the new government. These September figures are the result of 1013 interviews with all types of businesses across Australia.
The increased confidence has led to a rise in the proportion thinking that the next 12 months would be a good time to invest in growing the business, which has risen to 61%, up from 57% in August and is now at the highest level since January 2014.
Monthly Business Confidence - Australia
Source: Business Confidence, Roy Morgan Business Single Source (Australia), December 2010 – September 2014, Approximate Average Monthly Sample last 12 months, n=1000
In September, “finance and insurance” (138.1) remained the most confident sector followed by “rental, hiring and real estate services” (135.9). The high profile sectors in which hopes for economic recovery have been focused remain below the average confidence level , with only “construction” (115.3) showing some signs of improvement, while “manufacturing” (105.0) and “retail” (103.6) are relatively steady.
Confidence levels vary by state with Tasmania narrowly the highest, followed by Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.
Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:
“The improvement in business confidence in September was due largely to the increase in optimism about the next 12 months for the Australian economy and the positive impact that this would have on the financial position of businesses.
“This improved outlook was a result of a number of factors, including issues relating to the budget going relatively quiet due to an increased focus on international events and the blocking by the senate of a number of major changes. Other positive impacts were interest rates being kept low, house prices continuing to rise and unemployment remaining unchanged.
“Confidence in the key areas of retail, construction and manufacturing, which were seen as making up for a slowdown in the mining industry all remain below average in September although the construction industry is showing tentative signs of improvement in outlook.
“The worsening budget position is likely to begin impacting on business confidence as is the declining stock market and the difficulty of getting a number of key measures passed by the Senate which is likely to lead to a new revised budget.
“With some small signs that business will consider increasing investment in the next 12 months, banks will need to improve their dealings with customers as shown by Roy Morgan Business Bank Satisfaction, which remains well below the satisfaction level of the banks’ personal customers.
“Although business has shown some improvement in confidence and is currently higher than the level of the ANZ Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence, this optimism is likely to be very volatile with recent world social, political and economic events pointing to increasing levels of uncertainty for the business environment.”
Roy Morgan Research
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.
P: (03) 9224 5268