Confidence index on upward trend
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.