The latest Sensis Business Index findings have been released and the report has revealed Australia’s small and medium businesses are feeling optimistic about the future. Business confidence across the country has reached a nIne year high with an eight-point increase to + 50.
This is the highest recorded business confidence level since December 2009. Victorians are the nations most optimistic SMB owners with confidence surging to +55 (14 points higher than the previsu quarter).
Small businesses in the nation’s capitals were found to be more confident than their regional counterparts, recording balances of +58 and +38 respectively. Overall, prospects for the year ahead were also strong particularly in sales, with over 40 per cent of SMBs expecting growth in this area to indicate a rewarding 2019 ahead.
Sensis Chief Executive Officer, John Allan, said it was wonderful to see almost two-thirds of the nation’s SMBs (64 per cent) reporting they feel confident in their business prospects.
“The report also shows that expectations for 2019 were positive across the majority of business indicators, which is extremely encouraging given the disruption of the coming Federal Election,” Allan said.
Hospitality was found to be the most confident sector, recording a massive increase of 36 points to a record high index of +71. While Retail remained the least confident (+26), it recorded an increase of 14 points which indicates the sector maintained positivity ahead of its busiest period.
When looking at views of the Federal Government, SMBs made it clear they don’t feel their business is affected by decisions made in Parliament, with 62 per cent reporting Federal policies had no impact on their business – increasing from 57 per cent in the previous quarter.
“The perception that Federal Government policies do not affect small and medium businesses has grown in popularity over the years among SMBs, which could suggest they are becoming increasingly resilient toward Government changes.”
Despite business confidence, small business owners expected little change to the economy in the coming twelve months.
Meanwhile, access to finance continues to be an issue for small business owners falling four points to 21; the lowest recorded balance since 2013. SMBs are also reporting that time to pay is pushing out and is becoming an issue.