by Canberra CityNews
SMALL and medium businesses in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) are now the most confident in the nation regarding the health of the economy, according to the latest Sensis Business Index (SBI) survey.
Sensis Chief Executive Officer John Allan said the number of businesses who think the economy is growing rose from 16 percent to 21 percent this quarter, compared to the national average of 13 percent.
:ACT businesses were also the least likely to think the economy is slowing at 23 percent, versus the national average of 35 percent,” John said.
“ACT businesses have knocked off Tasmania to be the most confident about the current state of the economy. The expectations among SMBs are also looking strong this quarter, with the ACT holding the most positive outlook for employment, prices and profitability.”
“The Index, which reflects the views of 1,000 small and medium businesses from across Australia, also showed that business confidence rose two points to +40 this quarter, putting the ACT in third spot.
“Confidence has lifted above the national average and it is now more than twice the level recorded one year ago, when it displayed the lowest confidence levels. Businesses are positive about their own unique strengths which are helping to boost confidence.
Other key findings specific to the Australian Capital Territory are:
Support for the policies of the ACT Government was down three points to +9. This makes it the second most popular Government and one of only three Governments with a positive net balance
Favourable opinion towards the ACT Government is influenced primarily by the efforts to reduce bureaucracy and red tape, although some SMBs feel the Government fails to understand their needs
SMB support for the Federal Government was down two points to +1, making the ACT the third most negative towards the Government
Last quarter employment and profitability posted negative results, while sales, wages and prices were positive
At the national level, 87 percent of SMBs now think the economy is either slowing (35%) or standing still (52%), while only 13 percent think it is growing. The net balance score of -22 is down five points this quarter and is the lowest score in 12 months.