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According to a report by Roy Morgan Research, business confidence rose by 6.4 per cent last month to 123.1 index points, and has now risen 12.5 points over the last three months – overtaking its five-year average of 116.8 points.
Norman Morris, industry communications director at Roy Morgan Research, said business confidence was now the highest it has been since January 2014 (131.5 points).
The report noted that the incline was driven by increased confidence about businesses being better off financially in Australia than a year ago – up 4.8 percentage points to 41.1 per cent – while only 27.5 per cent believed they were worse off (down by 1.3 percentage points).
Furthermore, 50.6 per cent of businesses said they would be better off financially next year (up 9.6 percentage points), with only 12.5 per cent believing their business would be worse off (down 5.6 percentage points).
Confidence in investment for business growth in the next year also rose, with only 29.3 per cent of businesses believing that the next 12 months would be a bad time to invest in growth (down 7.8 percentage points).
Roy Morgan Research said business confidence was bolstered by an improvement in the Australian share market and certainty about when the federal election would be held.
[Related: FHBs continue to lose confidence]