Business confidence largely positive

Despite a slight blip.

Business confidence in July dropped below its level of a year ago for the first time in 2018, according to Roy Morgan data.

Despite the third monthly decline in a row the majority of Australian businesses believe now is a good time to invest in growing the business and expect good times for the Australian economy over the next five years, Roy Morgan CEO, Michele Levine said.

“For the first time this year business confidence has also dipped below its level of a year ago but the strong start to the year means in 2018 business is still enjoying its best year since 2014,” she said.

Analysing business confidence by leading industries compared to a year ago shows businesses in mining,  education and training have had the largest positive impact on business confidence over the last year, Levine said. Other industries to perform strongly compared to a year ago include finance and insurance, administration and support services, manufacturing and wholesale trade.

“Analysis by state shows falls in the larger states and New South Wales now has the lowest business confidence of any state. This is the first time Australia’s largest state has lagged behind the rest of the country on this indicator for more than four years since February 2014,” Levine said. “Despite the overall monthly fall both Western Australia and Tasmania bucked the overall trend and increased in July and Tasmania now has the highest business confidence of any state.

“Towards the end of July there was some good news for business which traditionally preferred certainty rather than uncertainty. The victories for Labor at the ‘Super Saturday’ by-elections removed the temptation for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to call an early election later this year.

“He has since confirmed he plans on calling the next Federal Election in May 2019 and has re-affirmed the government’s pledge to legislate further business tax cuts when Parliament resumes in the coming weeks. However, the removal of this election uncertainty came too late to have much impact on the monthly Business Confidence reading for July,” Levine said.

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