18/06/2009 - 06:48

Support for state government rises

18/06/2009 - 06:48

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Support for the state government's policies has risen in the past quarter, making WA the most supported government in Australia, according to the Sensis Business Index released today.

Support for state government rises

Support for the state government's policies has risen in the past quarter, making WA the most supported government in Australia, according to the Sensis Business Index released today.

The key reasons businesses gave for supporting the government were being more supportive of small business, making resources available for small businesses, an doing more infrastructure development.

However, the Sensis report found that while there were signs that the worst is over for Australia's economy, WA has Australia's weakest levels of business profitability and sales.

The quarterly survey began in 1993 and provides the latest snapshot of small (1 - 19 employees) and medium (20 - 199 employees) business activity in Australia.

It is based on a sample size of 1,800 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from metropolitan and regional areas, interviewed between May 6 and June 10.

Report author Ms Christena Singh said WA businesses had experienced deteriorating trading conditions during the quarter.

"Sales and profitability fell considerably during the quarter and now are at the lowest levels on record," she said.
"Weak demand has had a strong impact on WA's economic climate and it is the main concern for WA businesses.

"To put in context, the sales indicator for WA is down 45 percentage points compared with this time last year and the profitability indicator is down 35 percentage points."

WA businesses continued to shed staff during the quarter, but at slower rate than last quarter.
Over the quarter, 12 per cent of businesses decreased their workforce size, while six per cent increased staff numbers, and the remainder made no changes.

Business confidence improved slightly, up one percentage point to 35 per cent.

However, sentiment improved in regional WA with the indicator up from 48 to 54 per cent and fell in Perth with the indicator down from 30 to 28 per cent.

The most confident WA businesses are in the sectors of accommodation, caf├ęs and restaurants (69 per cent); finance and insurance (52 per cent); building and construction (51 per cent); and cultural, recreational and personal (47 per cent).

WA businesses operating in manufacturing (34 per cent); retail trade (30 per cent); heath and community services (30 per cent); transport and storage (27 per cent); communication property and business services (26 per cent) and wholesale trade (six per cent) are the least confident.

"More welcoming news is that WA businesses are expecting their operations to perform significantly better in this coming quarter," Ms Singh said.

 

 

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