Home Articles What will government limbo do to small business' already shaky confidence?

What will government limbo do to small business' already shaky confidence?


Owners of Australia’s small businesses were edgy in the weeks leading to the national elections.

Confidence in the federal government’s polices hit its lowest point since August 2008 in the latest Sensis Business Index quarterly survey. What will the hung Parliament resulting from the election do to that already shaky confidence? The mind boggles.

This most recent Sensis survey pulled from a sample of 1,800 businesses nationwide. Interviews took place between July 22 and Aug. 11. Read the latest report here.

Report author Christena Singh said business confidence improved slightly after freefalling the previous quarter. Overall confidence remains substantially below last year’s levels, she said.

“On a positive note, small businesses are cautiously optimistic about the future direction of the Australian economy,” Singh said. “They also are expecting business conditions to improve over the next 12 months.”

Those small-business owners who expressed confidence about their prospects generally said they were chipper because their business was well-established and their customer relations strong.

In addition, access to financing, a powerful engine for growth and capital expenditure, tightened up in the quarter, the report said.

“We have seen a marginal improvement in trading conditions this quarter, with sales, employment and capital expenditure rising,” Singh said. “However, the key profitability indicator continued to decline during this quarter.”

Ms. Gillard and Mr. Abbott would have loved to comment on that profitability indicator, but they’re tied up at the moment.

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