ALL POINTS TO UPWARD SWING IN CONFIDENCE
BUSINESS confidence has strengthened in Townsville, according to a survey by local firm PVW Partners.
The firm conducts a quarterly survey of about 300 business owners and managers, with a positive score indicating more optimists than pessimists about conditions for the quarter ahead.
The December quarter result returned a score about four points, which was a rise of about a point on the result for the September quarter.
Partner Carl Valentine said there had been an upward trend in business confidence in recent times when compared to the negative scores seen between 2014 and ’ 16.
“With so many major infrastructure projects underway across the Townsville region, I would expect the upward trend will continue over the next 12 months,” Mr Valentine said.
He said about 84 per cent of respondents believed the Port of Townsville Channel Widening Project was going to play an important role in the economic recovery of Townsville.
“None of those surveyed thought the project was not important to the future of the region,” Mr Valentine said.
Larger business respondents with turnover more than $ 10 million tended to be more positive than their smaller business counterparts, with larger businesses responding more positively across almost all components of the index.
While the respondents that identified as benefiting from the mining sector indicated slightly stronger employment opportunities, their non- mining counterparts indicated relatively higher expectations on investing for future growth in terms of higher spending on staff training and capital expenditure.
“These results were a little surprising given the generally positive sentiment around the recovery of, and future prospects for, our mining sector,” Mr Valentine said.
“However, this bodes well for other sectors of our economy if they can invest wisely and prepare for future growth opportunities.
“Ideally, the best outcome for sustained higher levels of confidence would be a stabilisation of the market locally leading to more stable growth opportunities for businesses across our regional economy.”
Mr Valentine said the emerging conditions could see a return to longer periods of sustained business confidence in our region.