The insurance and finance space continues to be the sector with the most confidence despite a slight decrease in the last quarter, according to the latest Sensis report.
The quarterly Sensis Business Index revealed net confidence for small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the finance and insurance sector fell by nine points.
“The most common reason for confidence was specific business strengths. Falling sales, followed by an unfavourable business environment, were the main issued for worried SMBs in this sector,” the report said.
Last quarter, the only ‘above average’ balance recorded was for profitability. Sales performance was ‘average’, while prices, wages and employment were ‘below average’.
The prices and employment balances were the lowest recorded by the sector.
As for this quarter, key indicator expectations are positive and higher than last quarters’ performances. The report, which reflects the views of 1,000 SMBs across Australia, also revealed that long-term projections for the economy have improved to their best level in more than two years.
“Perceptions of the current state of the economy fell slightly, but when we look further ahead, businesses are feeling the most optimistic they have been since the carbon tax was repealed in 2014,” Sensis chief executive John Allan said.
“When we look at the key indicators, sales, employment, wages and prices are all positive, while profitability has also improved, despite still recording a negative score. When you mix these results with the fact that business confidence remains at one of the best levels we’ve seen in the past seven years, it’s not surprising to see the long-term economic sentiments improve.”