Local firms have registered a sharp decline in confidence off the back of continued global economic uncertainty and financial instability says Dun & Bradstreet Australia.

According to Dun & Bradstreet’s latest Business Expectations Survey, sales expectations fell five points and profit expectations remain flat based on results recorded last month. The drop in sentiment was particularly evident among manufacturers and wholesalers where sales expectations plummeted by more than 15 points since October.  Caution by business is also being reflected through increasing concern over interest rates, despite last month’s rate cut, with one third of executives surveyed citing this as their biggest concern heading into 2012.

According to Dun & Bradstreet CEO, Christine Christian, the question of contagion from the escalating situation in Europe is increasingly an issue for Australian businesses, which to this point have felt relatively sheltered from the crisis. 

“The sudden drop in business sentiment over the course of the last month, following fairly solid results in October, indicates the degree of volatility that is being felt in the marketplace,” Ms Christian said.

“This is obviously being exacerbated, particularly in sectors like retail and manufacturing, by a high Australian dollar and the changing composition of the economy off the back of the mining boom.”

To read the full story click on the attachment:  Dun Bradstreet Business Expectations Survey November 2011

Source:  Dun & Bradstreet Australia