Key issues emerging this quarter Sept 2014- December 2014 for the small and medium sized businesses in Australia – Sensis

Key issues emerging this quarter for the small and medium sized businesses

The mood of Australian small and medium sized businesses is somewhat subdued, and a recovery in 2015 looks patchy and stuttering. There is a lack of improvement on most measures. Meanwhile, performance and expectations vary considerably across metro and regional areas, states and industries.
•Overall,  51% of small business owners are feeling confident about the year ahead, down from 53% in the September SBI.
•A quarter are worried about their prospects for the year ahead with subdued consumer spending and sales the major causes of concern.
•Business confidence was one point lower (at a net balance of +27*) than the previous quarter.
•SME’s prognosis of the economy a year from now is six points lower than the previous quarter.
•There is distinct variation across the states with confidence on the up in Tasmania (24 point gain), Victoria (a 10 point gain), South Australia (up 5 points) and Western Australia (up 3 points) and dropping in ACT (down 12 points), NSW (down 13 points), Queensland (down 5 points) and the Northern Territory (down 3 points).
•Regional SMEs are the main source of declining confidence; doing it tough in many areas when compared with their metropolitan cousins.
•SME’s views of support for small business from the Federal Government remain negative, and are still below the level recorded after the last election.
•Across the states and territories, the Queensland Government is the state government seen to be the most supportive towards small business while South Australia continues to be well below every other state.

Overall the indicators show that confidence failed to continue the improvement shown in the previous quarter when confidence bounced sharply. While some areas show small improvement, these remain weak, and there is now less optimism about sales and profitability in the short term and for the rest of 2015.

Source: Sensis 2015