A Dun & Bradstreet’s Business Expectations Survey revealed that 53.2% of businesses expect increased sales in Q1 2015 compared to last year, while just 7.5% forecast a decline, lifting D&B’s sales expectations index to 45.8 points, its highest level since Q2, 2000.
However, Roy Morgan Research’s Business Confidence survey in October 2014 declined by 8 points (down 6.5%) from September (to 114.9), the lowest level since June 2014 and below the four year average.
And the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Business Expectations survey for the September quarter showed that business expectations for the broader economy over the next 12 months had fallen.
“Business confidence is now 21.4 points (15.7%) below the peak of 136.3 in October 2013 following the election of the Coalition Government and as a result it is back to around pre-election levels. These October figures are the result of 1,052 interviews with all types of businesses across Australia,” Roy Morgan said.
D&B said that this year’s gradually improving business outlook looks set to continue into 2015, with the latest survey of Australian firms revealing that an increasing number expect to lift their sales and profits, sell their goods and services at higher prices, and invest more in their operations during the first quarter of the New Year.
Reported sales have also increased, moving to 16.9 points for Q3 2014, up from 11.6 points in the previous quarter and 7.5 points at the same time last year.
D&B’s survey has also found that 71% of businesses are more optimistic about growth in the next 12 months compared to the previous year.
The sales outlook is strongest in the wholesale and retail sectors, where 59.6% and 60.1% of businesses respectively are expecting increased trade.