Business Now - June 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.

June 2021 Quarter Results

Business confidence has seen its first dip in 12 months amidst interstate COVID risks, material shortages and lack of skilled labour in South Australia.

The Business SA – William Buck Quarterly Survey of Expectations for the June quarter has confirmed a 104.5 confidence index, falling 9.5 points from a 2 year high in the March quarter 2021.
 
Noting June quarter results reflect pre-Modbury cluster conditions, this survey was still influenced by the onset of restrictions, with pre-emptive measures during the nation-wide COVID scare emerging at the end of June.
 
Business conditions also fell from their highest level since before the Global Financial Crisis in the March quarter, which also saw the end of JobKeeper, with a 11.5 point decline to 105.3 points.

Insights: Jamie McKeough, Managing Director, William Buck

Although I expect that businesses will likely report a further drop in confidence in the September quarter, in light of recent events, we are already seeing business confidence decline as a result of the deteriorating COVID-19 situation we have observed around the country, particularly in late June.

Seeing SA’s confidence index drop by 9.5 points, to 104.5 points, is not surprising with many business owners reporting after 3 quarters they are seeing no light at the end of the tunnel. The fall though is not as steep as that felt nationally (down 18.6 points from the last quarter). Concerns over labour force availability (59% saying it was harder to attract labour in the June quarter) and material cost rises (47% finding it difficult to source necessary inputs, stock and/or materials) appears to be dampening the overall outlook among SMEs. These were significant issues facing business during the 2020/21 financial year.

 

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