Business confidence in the ACT is at its strongest level in 10 years and is leading the way in Australia, according to the latest Sensis Business Index findings.
Confidence among ACT small and medium businesses increased by 18 points to +64 in the quarter to March 2017 thanks mainly to increasing sales and profitability.
This was the highest level of business confidence since May 2007 and is 22 points above the national average.
Sensis Chief Executive Officer John Allan said that across the states and territories only ACT, Tasmanian, Queensland and NT businesses became more confident, while WA businesses maintained their score, and the other state and territories went backwards.
“At the state and territory level the results were fairly flat, although there was a surge in confidence in the ACT,” Mr Allan said.
“Canberra businesses are now the most confident nationally – driven by strong sales and profitability results – in the first full survey taken since the ACT election.
“The ACT Government also saw an improvement in its approval rating among SMBs, although not to the levels enjoyed before the election and its rating remains in negative territory.”
The report stated that The ACT Government’s rating lifted five points to -6.
“Positive ratings have been influenced by a growing local economy and small business training schemes. Key criticisms included too much notice being taken of unions and excessive bureaucracy,” the report stated.
A spokesperson for Chief Minister Andrew Barr said that most current economic indicators have highlighted the strength of the ACT economy, leading to more jobs and more investment in the community.
“The ACT Government has worked hard to protect Canberrans from the pain of the Commonwealth job cuts in recent years by investing in major infrastructure projects and supporting employment sectors outside of the APS,” he said.
“The Government will be working closely with local businesses to ensure that confidence in our economy continues to grow and that they are seeing the benefits of the Government’s investment in projects such as light rail.”
The Sensis Business Index March 2017 report was based on a survey of 1010 small and medium businesses across Australia. Below is a table on small and medium business confidence by state: