Business

Latest numbers put business expectations generally high

MIXED OUTLOOK: Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Peter Anderson says although business expectations have continued to rise, more action is needed to stimulate business activity.
MIXED OUTLOOK: Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Peter Anderson says although business expectations have continued to rise, more action is needed to stimulate business activity. LUKAS COCHAAP

BUSINESSES continue to expect improved trading conditions, according to the latest Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Westpac Survey.

The December quarter report found general business expectations for the next six months continued to rise, although the lift was slower than that recorded in the September quarter.

Expectations of labour shedding had fallen with a stable employment outlook, but expectations of capital expenditure fell slightly, as did expected spending on buildings and exports.

Chamber chief executive Peter Anderson said the continued improvement was welcome but said more action was needed to stimulate business activity.

"That's why passing the carbon tax repeal before Christmas would ease energy cost rises, add to industrial competitiveness and also lock in the firming confidence this survey reveals," Mr Anderson said.

"Profit margins are being squeezed with input costs increasing, while manufacturers' ability to pass on rising costs through price rises remains very constrained.

Westpac economist Elliot Clarke said the survey results showed there needed to be continued investment in the non-mining sectors and increased consumer spending and residential investment.

"Conditions in the manufacturing sector are still soft relative to history," he said.

"Key to the outlook for the sector will be whether this improvement in activity persists as expected, the impact of low rates on housing investment, and the ongoing impact of the historically-high Australian dollar on external demand.

"At present, firms look to have put a halt to job shedding but are seeking to maximize the productivity of their current staff.

"The RBA is currently focused on talking down the currency to stimulate the economy.

"We remain of the view that this strategy will prove ineffective, making additional rate cuts necessary in 2014."

Topics:  australian chamber of commerce, business confidence, economy




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'I apologise every day that I am not the person he married'

My battle with postnatal depression...

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

LA bound Melodee to sing in Disney movie

BIG BREAK: Melodee Leilua (centre right) with Polynesian super star band Te Vaka.

"I was stunned and I nearly fell over"

LISTEN: Gladstone fishermen fight 'motor fire' 60km to sea

Aaran Denschel said he didn't bother trying to restart his motor once the fire was extinguished.

FISHERMEN'S boat motor catches alight off Heron Island.

Latest deals and offers

Zac on BSL's future

Labor candidate for Flynn Zac Beers

Matt Canavan concered about BSL

LNP senator Matt Canavan is concerned about the future of Boyne Smelters Limited is...

Soccer kids enjoy clinic

Clinton's Charles Heeron - Senior Soccer between Clinton and Meteors. Saturday, May 14th, 2016.

A League goalkeeper Michael Theo was passing down his soccer wisdom to about 30...

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward