Queensland Business Confidence Falls in December Quarter
Political and economic uncertainty has seen business confidence in Queensland fall to a four year low in the December quarter of the latest Suncorp-CCIQ Business Pulse Survey.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) notes that sentiment around Australia’s economic conditions had declined as Christmas sales fell short of forecasts.
Economic sentiment in Queensland dropped 5.1 points from the September quarter to a level of 40.7 on a seasonally adjusted basis. There was a further decline in confidence in the national economic outlook, which dropped 6.6 points to a level of 42.4.
A weaker Australian dollar boosted a positive assessment of the state’s export industries citing improved competitiveness in operations.
CCIQ Chief Economist, Dr Marcus Smith said policy makers need to be more proactive in dealing with the challenges facing many businesses, particularly in regional areas.
“Providing Queensland’s small business sector with confidence to invest in their businesses starts with policy certainty at all levels of government and a stable platform upon which to make decisions.
“The government in Queensland along with its federal counterparts need to ensure a ‘whatever it takes’ approach is at the heart of getting the state really moving,” Dr Smith said.
Suncorp’s CEO Banking and Wealth, David Carter said that the Queensland data reflects similar sentiment being felt across the nation.
“We are optimistic about Queensland’s outlook. It boasts a diverse economy which is becoming stronger thanks to a weakening Australian dollar and improvements in export industries including the resource and agriculture sectors. There is a lot to be positive about across the state,” said Mr Carter.
“The property market has also remained relatively resilient, particularly in south-east Queensland which is being supported by strong population growth from the southern states. Healthcare and education sectors are creating new jobs and supporting local economies, and government support for innovation will continue to drive local investment and interest in the state.
“We can’t deny the challenges, but it’s important for big and small businesses to work together to continue building on the opportunities across the state.”
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Index (seasonally adjusted)