Energy costs, the impact of the drought and the uncertainty over the NSW and Federal elections have all contributed to subdued confidence felt by business owners, according to the latest quarterly survey by the state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber.
“It is now clear from successive surveys that business conditions have become more challenging and that momentum has slowed,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.
“Business confidence is down with businesses facing tougher trading conditions as the NSW economy faces headwinds from international markets, volatility in the housing sector and rising operating costs,” Mr Cartwright said.
“While the NSW economy is leading the nation, the challenge for the next Government of NSW is to keep the state moving forward.
“Put simply, there will be less money for schools, hospitals and roads if businesses across NSW stop investing and employing.
“It is also concerning that respondents’ expectations for the March quarter are low.
“Sales revenue continued to fall, a particularly disappointing result given many businesses rely on the pre-Christmas period to boost sales. This has had a flow on effect for the profits index which also fell.
“The brighter news is that business reported an increase in levels of capital spending compared to the previous quarter, showing they are not afraid to invest in their business.
“With the State election now less than two months away, it is vital that those parties looking to form the next Government understand the true nature of current business conditions and just how important it is to have policies that assist business to invest and create new jobs.
“It’s why the NSW Business Chamber is campaigning on a platform of Keeping NSW Number 1
because although the economy is the envy of other States, we need to keep the economy running at full capacity,” Mr Cartwright said.
The full survey results can be found here.