Queensland Business Confidence Subdued in March Quarter
Business confidence in Queensland improved marginally in the March quarter as political uncertainty around the federal election, benign economic growth and a difficult operating conditions continue to weigh on the small business sector according to the latest Suncorp-CCIQ Business Pulse Survey.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) notes that sentiment follows a trend where investment intention in Queensland is also testing multi-year lows.
Economic sentiment in Queensland improved 1.6 points from the December quarter to a level of 42.4 on a seasonally adjusted basis whilst the national outlook gained 2.2 points to 43.4 over the March quarter but still down 6.9 points from the same period 12 months earlier.
CCIQ Head of Industry, Dan Petrie said whilst a marginal improvement in the overall confidence benchmark is welcome, policy makers need to do more in dealing with the challenges facing many businesses, particularly in regional areas.
“The solutions to improving sentiment involve clearly articulated policy initiatives and the encouragement of private and public sector projects.
“The government in Queensland along with its federal counterparts will need to move beyond election sloganeering and look at specific initiatives that will boost investment as well as providing certainty.
“The key thematic expressed respondents is that announcements of billion dollar projects need to be backed up by actions and for many in the small business community, participating in such projects or seeing any correlating activity is limited at best” Mr Petrie said.
Suncorp CEO Banking and Wealth, David Carter said while the shift may only be minor, it’s a move in the right direction.
“We firmly believe the most important catalyst for economic growth, investment and employment is business – because when local businesses succeed, local communities thrive. For example, recent rainfall across north and west Queensland should see the agricultural sector strengthen, leading to a more stabilised and improving outlook.
“We can’t deny the business challenges being felt across the State, and the uncertainty in the lead up to the Federal Election.
“Big and small businesses should see this move in sentiment as a positive signal for the State, and look for ways to continue building on the opportunities across Queensland. Helping business owners seize on these growth opportunities is a big part of why we are have recently pledged $3 billion of new credit for our small, commercial and agribusiness customers and we’ve increased our appetite for lending with less security with a focus on cash flow,” Mr Carter said.
How do you expect the economy to perform over the next twelve months in comparison with the last twelve months?
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Index (seasonally adjusted)