Australian firms recorded a dramatic lift in expectations for the June quarter, with the outlook for sales hitting its highest level in almost a decade.  The latest Dun & Bradstreet National Business Expectations Survey of manufacturing, retail and wholesale firms conducted in January, revealed preliminary expectations for June quarter sales (+21) and profits (+8) were more than twice March quarter forecasts.  Sales expectations are now at their strongest level since the December quarter 2003, well before the onset of the global financial crisis.

Dun & Bradstreet CEO, Christine Christian, said the strong sentiment was encouraging and corresponded with D&B trade payments and collections data which indicated that business performance tended to experience a cyclical peak during the second quarter of the year.

“Historically, leading indicators of financial stability, such as cash flow, have improved during the June quarter as firms gain momentum. We are also no doubt seeing businesses increasingly factoring in the impact of further interest rate reductions on their operations,” Ms Christian said.  This improvement has not, however, translated into plans for long-term employment growth, with businesses recording a three point drop in employment expectations for the June quarter.  “This would appear to indicate that businesses are still taking a cautious, wait-and-see approach on trading conditions before looking to expand their operations or their workforce.”

To read the full story click on the attachment: D&B Business Expectations Survey January 2012

Source:  Dun & Bradstreet Australia