Business Now - March 2021


What is the survey about?

The Survey of Business Expectations is a quarterly survey which highlights the South Australian business community’s view of current and future economic conditions. In partnership with advisory firm William Buck, the results are analysed, deciphered and published in our quarterly joint publication, Business Now.. These results inform Business SA policy and advocacy work and provide a robust indicator to government and other stakeholders of the business environment in South Australia. You can view all the past results here.

March 2021 Quarter Results

The Business SA – William Buck Survey of Business Expectations for the March Quarter found that general business conditions experienced a significant 16.2 point rise from the December quarter to 116.8, the highest since the pre-GFC boom in December 2007.

Business confidence has also continued its upwards trajectory climbing 5.7 points to 114, a whopping 73 points higher than the March Quarter in 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pleasingly, businesses reported their highest sales and revenue in three years, with the majority of survey respondents reporting a return to at least 100 per cent of pre-COVID revenue by the end of the March quarter. 

Insights: Jamie McKeough, Managing Director, William Buck

Despite the ongoing constraints caused by labour and material shortages, reports of above average top line sales and overall profitability for most businesses provides a tangible projection that the financial year will conclude as one of the best in years.

This better-than-expected profitability scenario is also leading to increased business investment. Business owners are making hay while the sun shines by investing back into their business during a time of strength, resulting in further job creation and investment in technology, plant and premises further benefitting the local economy.
Overall, the upward trajectory of confidence and conditions are resulting in 35 per cent of businesses having a more positive outlook on their organisation than pre-COVID, and 56 per cent of businesses expecting the state economy to perform even better in the next year.

Although remaining cautious due to the risk of outbreaks or snap lockdowns, businesses are encouraged to push through, despite shortages of supply and workers, to invest in their business during a time of strength and contribute to the ongoing growth of the South Australian economy.



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