Business Now - June 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.

June Quarter Results

The June quarter Business SA – William Buck Survey of Business Expectations has seen business confidence bounce back after falling to the lowest level in the 40 year history of the State’s longest running survey of business owners in the March quarter.

Despite ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, business confidence jumped 26 points from the historic low of 41 points in the March quarter back up to 67.0.

The General Business Conditions Index for the June quarter stabilised, despite businesses predicting it would plummet further back in March. While the outlook for next quarter is also looking positive with the index expected to jump almost 14 points to back above 80. 

Revenue also started to swing with those businesses down by 50 per cent or more in the June quarter (22%) halving from the March quarter figures (43%).

It is clear there is much more optimism in the air with 81 per cent of SMEs confident of surviving current restrictions for a further six months or longer compared to the mass uncertainty in the March quarter that saw 36 per cent of businesses cast doubt on whether they could survive another three months.

Insights: Jamie McKeough, Managing Director, William Buck

William Buck Managing Director Jamie McKeough said while the tide had turned a full recovery was clearly still a long way off.

“Business confidence and conditions have bounced back in the June quarter and the depths of despair anticipated back in March, fortunately, have not materialized,” he said.

“While it is pleasing the majority of South Australian businesses fall into the minimal impact category, it is clear a group of businesses continue to suffer significantly from COVID-19, which is having a huge impact on their bottom line.

“In all, the June numbers are still grim but in the current climate, a glimmer of hope is better than nothing at all.”

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