Natonally, the poll showed business confidence was at its highest level in three years and that the majority thought it was a good time to invest in growing a business.
Significantly, confidence is high across a broad spectrum of industry.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland economist Jack Baxter his organisation was expecting a similar improvement in business confidence for the December quarter following general optimism stemming from the COVID-19 vaccine and anticipation for further easing of restrictions.
“However, industries facing a more prolonged recovery period, such as transport, recreation and tourism businesses remain cautious,” he said.
The Morgan survey found that business confidence was now 18.7pts higher than it was a year ago and was 9.8pts above the long-term average, of 113.4.
“Business Confidence has now increased strongly for three straight months and is up 37.6pts (+43.9 per cent) since September to 123.2 – a three-year high since January 2018 (123.5),” Roy Morgan chief executive Michelle Levine said.
“On a state-based level business confidence is now in positive territory above 100 in all five mainland states and has increased strongly over the past few months. New South Wales now has the highest business confidence of any state at 128.2, up a stunning 33.9pts (+35.8 per cent) since September.
“However, the two largest increases to business confidence in the closing months of 2020 came in Victoria, up 47.1pts (+61.2 per cent) to 124.1 and Queensland, up 45.4pts (+63.4 per cent) to 117.0.
The sectors with the highest level of confidence were property and business services, wholesale, transport, postal and warehousing, agriculture and public administration & defence.
Also well into positive territory were community services (128.9), professional, scientific and technical services (122.3), retail (118.2), education & training (117.1) and information media and telecommunications (115.3) – all five of which increased strongly by at least 5pts in December.
“In addition, businesses are growing increasingly confident about the longer-term outlook with 56.2 per cent (up 9.4ppts) expecting ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next five years compared to 37.8 per cent (down 10ppts) which expect ‘bad times’.
“Over a third of businesses, 37.1 per cent (up 5.6ppts), said the business was ‘better off’ financially than this time a year ago while 39.8 per cent (down 6.3ppts), said the business is ‘worse off’;
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