Business Now - March Quarter 2019

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 Quarter Results

Business confidence has fallen into negative territory for the first time since the December 2017 quarter, dropping 20.5 points from 116.4 to 95.9, in the Business SA – William Buck Survey of Business Expectations.
Conditions have also fallen significantly, dropping 13.1 points to be well into negative territory on 89.5 points.
More than a third of businesses expected the state’s economy to perform weaker or slightly weaker over the next 12 months, compared to 22 per cent in the December quarter, and only 23 per cent expected it to improve.

Insights: Jamie McKeough, Managing Director, William Buck

Falling confidence and worsening conditions in the March quarter Business SA – William Buck Survey of Business Expectations is not a good thing for our economy, our business owners, and  the people of South Australia generally. Higher labour costs, lower sales increases and reduced access to finance is a worrying cocktail for business confidence.
When you look back at the last dip in confidence in late 2017, there were many similarities to why confidence is trending into negative territory now – including uncertainty over a state election compared to a looming federal election this survey, defence contracts, the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and its operating capabilities, the closure of Holden’s Elizabeth plant and unemployment.
We are again living through a period of uncertainty, with concerns about the weakening of the national economy –fuelled by the eastern states housing market, uncertainty regarding our political future, and the potential upward wage pressure if a Labor victory, the drought and its far-reaching consequences, and regarding the findings of the banking Royal Commission. 

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