Survey marks growth gains

A STEADILY improving global economy is continuing to fuel WA business conditions, according to the latest Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA/BankWest Survey of Business Expectations.

Businesses reported that economic conditions in the September quarter were better than at any time since 1983.

BankWest chief economist Alan Langford said the improving global economy was a significant factor in the growing confidence of WA businesses.

He said that, with WA being more heavily exposed to exports than other parts of the nation, and global risk factors fading, there was always a reasonably good chance of growth in confidence.

Those businesses surveyed reported better economic and trading conditions, higher employment, sales, exports, profits and capital expenditure during the September quarter.

Mr Langford said the most exciting aspect of the survey was that business confidence was growing, not from a lowly position, but on the back of already strong expectations.

Another important aspect of the survey figures was the outlook for the December quarter, with continued growth in business expectations expected.

Mr Langford said some businesses were reporting increases in costs associated with labour and wages as a result of the growth.

However, this was unlikely to have an effect on business and expectations in the short term, he said, as the higher costs simply reflected a buoyant economy.

While a rise in interest rates in the near future wouldn’t help expectations, most of the effects would be felt in the housing market and associated industries, with less of an effect on business, Mr Langford said.


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