Dun & Bradstreet’s latest Business Expectations Survey indicates a fairly subdued outlook for the first quarter of 2016, as results continue to fall short of expectations. As the new year approaches, business are reporting lowered expectations for activity across Sales, Profits, Employees and Capital Investment.
For the September quarter, Actual Indices (percentage of businesses reporting an actual increase in activity minus percentage of businesses reporting an actual decrease) fell short of Expectation Indices across all components except Selling Prices, which exceeded expectations by a marginal 0.33 points.
Meanwhile, the actual increase in both Selling Prices and Employees exceeded expectations for the September quarter: 25.2 per cent of businesses reported an increase in Selling Prices for Q3, compared to the 24.2 per cent that had expected an increase, while 23.0 per cent of businesses reported an increase in Employees for the quarter, compared to the 21.1 per cent that had expected an increase.
Interestingly, that the actual decrease in Employees for the September quarter outstripped the expected decrease by 7.9 percentage points – the most substantial discrepancy between expected and actual increase/decrease components seen for the quarter.
The muted outlook comes despite an improvement in Actual Indices for Profit, Capital Investment and Selling Prices in the September quarter compared to the June quarter. Only the Actual Sales Index decreased; the Actual Employees Index remained unchanged since the previous quarter.
Source: D&B Australia – To download the press release click on this link: 2015-12-01 DB Business Expectations Survey – Q1 2016 interim