Business Now - September 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.

September Quarter Results

Business confidence has fallen for the third consecutive quarter, dropping 12.8 points from 84.4 to 71.6 – a level not seen since late 2006 - in the Business SA – William Buck Survey of Business Expectations. Since the December quarter last year, business confidence has fallen close 45 points.
 
Conditions fell by 9 points, with any previous positive signs no longer evident, on 78.7 points.
 
More than 60 per cent of businesses expected the state’s economy to perform weaker or slightly weaker over the next 12 months, compared to 41.5 per cent in the June quarter and 35 per cent in March. Only 16.5 per cent expected it to improve.

Insights: Jamie McKeough, Managing Director, William Buck

Confidence has fallen significantly over the past 12 months to what could be considered a dramatic low, but they’ve come from a similarly dramatic high. In June last year confidence was riding high at 116.2 points, hovering around that marker throughout September and December. A year ago we had the highest levels of confidence since the troubled times of the late 2000s, now we have the lowest.

The survey results reflect the volatile times in which we live, however, if you sit back and reflect - business conditions could be worse. Business conditions are less volatile than confidence, and that’s a good thing. There’s also less negative movement on the scale of conditions.

Uncertainty influences confidence, and it’s logical to see a slide with current local, national and global economic factors. Businesses need to ignore the external noise and focus on what they can control.
 

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