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Rate rise fears allayed

SMALL business fears of an interest rate rise have been allayed for another month.

Small Business Development Corporation managing director George Etrelezis said interest rates – and their impact on consumer confidence – were a major concern to small business.

He said 29 per cent of respondents to the November 2000 Small Business Opinion Survey indicated interest rate rises were one of the major challenges facing small business in the next six months.

“Of even greater significance with respect to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s announcement is that 44 per cent of small businesses have identified the low level of consumer confidence as the major challenge ahead,” Mr Etrelezis said.

Mr Etrelezis believes the decision against further rate rises was based on a significant moderation in employment, coupled with a pronounced reduction in household spending.

Consumer Price Index figures for the September quarter also showed a less than expected jump in the inflation rate.

December figures could show another jump in the inflation rate. WA truck drivers have managed to secure a 2.5 per cent cartage rate rise and a 3.5 per cent fuel levy that could lead to a six per cent increase in some prices.

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