Survey shows we're getting our confidence back
THE latest Sunshine Coast Council business confidence survey has revealed almost half of local businesses feel their performance improved over the past six months.
The Sunshine Coast Business Confidence Survey also showed 47% of businesses expected further improvements over the coming six months.
"Business confidence in the first half of the 2014 year is actually up by four points on the same period last year," Mayor Mark Jamieson said.
However, he made sure the latest figures were given context.
"While the level of business confidence recorded in October 2013 immediately following the federal election was three points higher, this is often the result that appears following decisive election results - and particularly following three years where the then Federal Government did not have a majority in its own right," Cr Jamieson said.
"The survey index shows an increase of more than 12 points over the past three years, showing steady and consistent growth in business confidence, coming off the rock-bottom depths of the April 2011 result which was measured just after the Queensland floods."
Bill Darby, of the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce, said his anecdotal evidence matched council's figures.
"Where there's been the drain of our employment into the mining sector over the last few years, now we're seeing the reversal of that, and there's an expectation that will be to the benefit of business," he said.
"I will say that retail trading is still patchy and it won't be until we get greater population density and more continued and innovative development in our retail sector that we'll see greater growth in retail trading figures."
Steve Lawrence, from Boardroom Business, which carries out the annual survey, said participants indicated the largest constraints to growth were rising overheads and utility costs, along with price pressure from customers and wages pressure.
Taxes and government charges also put further pressure on margins.
"Each year the survey tackles one of the big issues facing the business community,'' Mr Lawrence said.
"The latest survey focused on business collaboration as one of the indicators of innovation and growth."
Why we're a confident bunch:
51% of businesses expected an increase in profitability
23% of businesses expected an increase in staffing levels
29% of businesses expected an increase in capital investment