Confidence up for WA business

WHILE sales are remaining strong, confidence is falling among small to medium-sized enterprises, according to a recent report.

The Yellow Pages Business Index found that, during the August to October quarter, 36 per cent of SMEs were confident about their businss future, a drop of 7 per cent from the previous quarter.

However, sales performance for both quarters showed consecutive rises.

WA was the only State where business confidence rose.

Medium businesses reported higher confidence levels than their smaller counterparts but the “confidence gap” between the two is narrowing.

There was little difference in confidence reported between regional and metropolitan SMEs.

Index author Steven Shepherd said there were a number of issues such as the collapse of Ansett, the Federal electon campaign and the global war on terrorism that had contributed to the confidence fall.

“Compounding all these issues is the fact that according to a significant number of SMEs

there is a lack of work available, which was the number one

concern cited by all businesses surveyed,” Mr Shepherd said.

“Almost one fifth of SMEs surveyed believed the terrorist attacks in the US and the ongoing war in Afghanistan had a significant impact on the economic conditions in which they were operating.

“This certainly had impacted on immediate perceptions of the Australian economy and could give rise to an excessively pessimistic view.”

Ironically, despite the global economic pressures, Australia’s exporters appear to be doing well with the country recording a trade surplus for the quarter.

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