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Finance remains most confident sector: report

Finance and insurance was again the most confident sector in September as business confidence reached a 10-month high.

Released yesterday, the Roy Morgan Research Business Confidence survey found that business confidence is now only 13.4 points (9.8 per cent) below the peak of 136.3 in October 2013 following the election of the new government.

Business confidence improved by 5.9 per cent in September to its highest level since January 2014, according to Roy Morgan Research.

“The improvement in business confidence in September was due largely to the increase in optimism about the next 12 months for the Australian economy and the positive impact that this would have on the financial position of businesses,” Roy Morgan Research industry communications director Norman Morris said.

“This improved outlook was a result of a number of factors, including issues relating to the Budget going relatively quiet due to an increased focus on international events and the blocking by the senate of a number of major changes,” Mr Morris said.

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“Other positive impacts were interest rates being kept low, house prices continuing to rise and unemployment remaining unchanged,” he said.

“Confidence in the key areas of retail, construction and manufacturing, which were seen as making up for a slowdown in the mining industry, all remain below average in September although the construction industry is showing tentative signs of improvement in outlook.”

The worsening Budget position is likely to begin impacting on business confidence as is the declining stock market and the difficulty of getting a number of key measures passed by the senate which is likely to lead to a new revised Budget, Mr Morris said.

“With some small signs that business will consider increasing investment in the next 12 months, banks will need to improve their dealings with customers as shown by Roy Morgan Business Bank Satisfaction, which remains well below the satisfaction level of the banks’ personal customers,” he said.

 

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