Con­fi­dence in­dex on up­ward trend

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT

BUSI­NESS con­fi­dence at Townsville has con­tin­ued a steady rise, mov­ing out of neg­a­tive ter­ri­tory for the first time since De­cem­ber 2013.

Ac­cord­ing to Price­wa­ter­house­Cooper’s Townsville Busi­ness Con­fi­dence In­dex, busi­ness con­fi­dence in­creased by 0.5 ba­sis points, from - 0.5 to 0.0, in the out­look for con­di­tions in the Septem­ber quar­ter.

PwC Townsville part­ner Carl Valen­tine said the driv­ers of the in­creas­ing con­fi­dence were com­ing from smaller busi­nesses out­side of the min­ing sec­tor with strong growth in sales and de­mand.

“The shift in busi­ness con­fi­dence is good news, although it’s a more grad­ual in­crease than we’ve seen in the past,” Mr Valen­tine said.

“It is per­haps a lit­tle too soon to talk of an over­all trend to­wards more pos­i­tiv­ity, how­ever, the in­dex does now ap­pear to be trend­ing up­wards from a Septem­ber 2013 low point.

“This may re­flect the fact that we’re in be­tween po­lit­i­cal cy­cles at both state and fed­eral lev­els; we could be see­ing busi­ness con­fi­dence ad­just to a new nor­mal.

“The tax in­cen­tives for small busi­nesses an­nounced in the fed­eral bud­get will have con­trib­uted to the in­creas­ing con­fi­dence with some small busi­nesses tak­ing the op­por­tu­nity to more tax- ef­fec­tively in­vest in in­come- pro­duc­ing as­sets that sup­port fu­ture prof­itable growth.

“The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment is also de­mon­strat­ing a strong com­mit­ment to North­ern Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing through the re­cent re­lease of white pa­pers on de­vel­op­ing North­ern Aus­tralia and agri­cul­ture com­pet­i­tive­ness.

“These white pa­pers, cou­pled with in­creased dis­cus­sion on lo­cal in­fra­struc­ture projects like the Townsville City Wa­ter­front Pri­or­ity De­vel­op­ment Area, are giv­ing the Townsville busi­ness com­mu­nity con­fi­dence.”

Mr Valen­tine said the Septem­ber quar­ter re­sults con­tin­ued to in­di­cate a pos­i­tive shift in sen­ti­ment across all key in­di­ca­tors in­clud­ing con­sumer de­mand, em­ploy­ment, pro­mo­tions and advertising, staff train­ing and en­ter­tain­ment.

“Across the board, there are strong ex­pec­ta­tions that sales will in­crease or re­main the same.”

PwC part­ner Carl Valen­tine.

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