Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

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.

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