Business Now - December Quarter 2020

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.

December Quarter Results

The December quarter Business SA – William Buck Survey of Business Expectations has seen business confidence continue to climb despite losses associated with the Parafield Cluster shutdown and prolonged restrictions into early December.

Business confidence jumped to 108.3 points, up 13 points from the September quarter of the Survey.

The December quarter index is 20 per cent above the 10-year average, signaling a brighter year ahead, as the State approaches the 12-month anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Insights: Jamie McKeough, Managing Director, William Buck

The overall outlook for our economy is rosier than the past quarter, up 13 points, as South Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic fuels optimism across sectors.

Labour force availability, however, is emerging as a key concern among business owners.

Almost 12 months on from the pandemic, and South Australia has well and truly put the worst behind it with business confidence and conditions above the 10-year average and substantially higher than the depths of last March.

The Government handling of the pandemic from both a health and economic stimulus perspective is no doubt a key reason for the healthy amount of optimism.

However, this confidence may be eroded in the future if the erratic and non-uniform approach to snap lockdowns and border closures is not addressed.

This is clear from the overwhelming and indeed polarizing response from business owners to South Australia’s Parafield Gardens circuit breaker lockdown in November last year.


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