Despite earlier indications that the business sector would take steady steps forward this year, the latest survey of Australian firms reveals that expectations and levels of optimism have returned to 2014 levels. According to Dun & Bradstreet’s Business Expectations Survey, the percentage of businesses that are more optimistic about growth in the next 12-months has fallen to the same level measured a year earlier. After lifting through the December quarter and reaching 73 per cent in January, 64 per cent of businesses are now more positive about growth in 2015 compared to last year.
Despite last month’s interest rate cut, Dun & Bradstreet has also revealed little movement in the number of businesses that plan to access new finance or credit to grow their operations. Of the businesses surveyed, 19 per cent plan to seek new credit in the June quarter, flat from the 18 per cent measured at the same time last year.
The soft optimism and borrowing outlook is matched by concerns from businesses that demand will remain weak in the near-term. According to Dun & Bradstreet, businesses consider a lack of demand for their products as the biggest barrier to growth this year (20 per cent), ahead of other issues including online selling by competitors (12 per cent), skilled labour (11 per cent), operating costs (11 per cent) and access to funding (8 per cent).
To read the full report click on this link: DB Business Expectations Survey – Q2 2015 – interim