Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
The latest study of business confidence released by leadership development organisation The Executive Connection (TEC) shows South Australian business leaders are more confident than their counterparts in other states, with over 17 per cent predicting an economic improvement.

This is more than the national average of 16 per cent, and in stark contrast with confidence levels in QLD (6 per cent) and VIC (8.5 per cent).

South Australian businesses are also amongst the most confident when it comes to other important business indicators, with 50 per cent expecting a sales upturn in the New Year, 32 per cent planning to increase staff numbers and 50 per cent expecting a spike in profitability.

Jerry Kleeman, South Australian Chair of The Executive Connection, says the results reflect not only the economic conditions of South Australia but also the positivity of South Australian business leaders.

“The past year has been marked by significant economic fluctuations, with the European debt crisis and continued talks of a second economic downturn affecting businesses throughout the world. However, what the TEC Confidence Index shows is that business leaders in South Australia believe they have fared better than most,” says Jerry.

“The results also show that South Australian business leaders are confident in the processes and strategies they have developed to deal with the downturned economy, and that they have faith in their ability to grow their business despite the continued economic gloom. “

The Index reveals that many South Australian businesses are planning to lay the financial foundation for future growth in 2012, with 48 per cent expecting to increase business expenditures over the next year.

“SMEs are the backbone of the South Australian economy, and the fact that such a high percentage are confident of increasing their sales and profitability is a great sign for SA,” says Jerry.

“It’s been tough going for business leaders in recent times, and while this confidence shouldn’t be interpreted as a return of ‘the good times’, it does show their resilience. It reflects how TEC members work with each other to uncover insights about their business and the economy, and then support each other to take action to increase profitability and headcount - to always be driving their businesses forward, even during a downturn.”

Of all the states, Western Australian businesses were most confident about economic improvement, with over a quarter (26 per cent) of business leaders expecting the economy to improve in 2012.

Western Australian managers also had the greatest expectation of a sales increase, with 66 per cent expecting sales figures to increase in the New Year.
Business leaders in New South Wales had the greatest plans to expand staff numbers, with almost half (47 per cent) expecting to hire more employees in the next year. Over half of New South Wales businesses also expect to see a spike in profitability over the next year.

Conversely, Queensland business owners were the least confident about the economy, with only 6 per cent expecting improved economic conditions.

Victorian business leaders also had a gloomy outlook on the economy with only 8 ½ per cent predicting an improvement. They were also the least likely to expand their staff numbers (33 per cent), and the least confident of a rise in profitability (36 per cent).

Chris Gorman , CEO of The Executive Connection, says this disparity reflects the unique challenges and opportunities faced by businesses in different states.
“The results show a split in confidence levels around the nation. The resource boom and general economic prosperity in Western Australia has made businesses more confident of their growth potential in 2012. Conversely, many Queensland businesses are still feeling the effects of Cyclone Yasi and the floods which devastated the state, so business leaders are naturally more pessimistic about the economy,” says Chris Gorman.

The TEC Business Confidence Index is a quarterly survey measuring the confidence of Australia’s top business leaders. The Index polled 387 Australian business leaders, with the index score reflecting the likelihood of economic improvement, hiring intentions and business growth over the next 12 months.

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The Executive Connection

The Executive Connection (TEC) is the Australian affiliate of Vistage International, Inc. with more than 14,500 members in 16 countries worldwide. It is the world’s foremost chief executive leadership group for ongoing professional and personal development, helping business CEOs become better leaders, make better decisions and drive better results for their organisations. TEC membership provides unparalleled access to new ideas and fresh thinking through monthly peer think-tanks, one-on-one business coaching and speaker presentations from the top industry experts, social networking and access to best practice articles, white papers and webinars. For more information please visit www.tec.com.au
Sarah Neville
P: (08) 8233 5929
W: www.ppr.com.au


business, The Executive Connection, TEC, sales growth, new year, business confidence, South Australian business



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