More evidence of strong upturn in the Queensland economy, says Treasurer

Thursday 18 May, 2017

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt has been singing the praises of the CCIQ-Suncorp Pulse Survey of Business Conditions today.

Mr Pitt, in a media statement, says the business survey has underlined the upturn in the state’s economy with business confidence the highest since 2014 and business conditions perceived to be the best since 2009.

Mr Pitt said the Suncorp CCIQ Pulse survey for the March quarter showed the outcomes of the Palaszczuk Government’s economic plan.

“A key aim of our economic plan is to improve business confidence and conditions to attract more investment and innovation that leads to more jobs, especially in our regional communities,” he said.

“So it is good to read in the survey that ‘caution and pessimism of the past two years’ is lifting across Queensland.

“The higher confidence reported in the latest Suncorp Pulse survey recognises the effects of higher economic growth, the state’s strong export performance, and ‘a solid pipeline of infrastructure spending’.

“All of these are elements of our economic plan to further diversify our already diverse economy, boost economic growth, and implement a $40 billion, four-year job-creating infrastructure program.”

The March quarter Suncorp CCIQ Pulse survey showed:

  • business confidence rose 1.7 points to reach 49.4 on the survey’s index —   the highest since December 2014, 
  • general business conditions at 52.6 — the highest since December 2009 — after a rise of 6.3 percentage points, 
  • business expectations for the coming June quarter at 51.9 — indicating improving conditions were expected to remain steady.

“The Pulse survey says the ‘substantial increase’ in confidence in the March quarter 2017 followed the ‘steep climb’ seen in the December quarter 2016,” Mr Pitt said.

“The survey says the catalyst for the result is ‘the improving Queensland economy’ underpinned by recent figures showing stronger retail spending, improved residential construction, and increased tourism activity.

“In light of the government’s focus on supporting regional communities and economies, it is notable that businesses in regional areas were more optimistic than those in SEQ.

“CCIQ noted that ‘at first glance, this is a surprising result following the impact of Tropical Cyclone Debbie'.

“However, regionally located businesses have noted an improved outlook for the coal industry, a strong season for agriculture and cyclone recovery works as factors behind the improved outlook’,” Mr Pitt said. 

Mr Pitt said negative factors nominated but those surveyed included global political uncertainties including the Trump administration in the US, conditions in international markets, and the uncertainty of the Turnbull government’s ability to secure passage of legislation through the Senate.

He said it was pleasing to see the latest Pulse survey reflecting an upturn in the state economy that had also been recognised in other surveys and analysis.

“The Pulse survey’s positive results reflect those in other surveys including the NAB business confidence survey that has seen Queensland placed highest or second-highest in the nation for 26 of the past 28 months. 

“The latest Sensis Business Index survey showed confidence among Queensland small and medium business owners was at its highest level in seven years. 

“And we have also seen the Queensland State Accounts for the December quarter 2016 showingtrend GSP rising 2.6% over the year, with a key component, business investment, recording its second consecutive rise following 11 consecutive quarterly falls. 

“The State Accounts also contained positive State Final Demand figures — a measure of the state’s domestic economy — for the fourth consecutive quarter following eight negative quarters. 

“All these outcomes show our economic plan is working,” Mr Pitt said.


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