Business confidence highest level in six years
  • Tuesday 20 January 2015
Image

Business confidence on the Sunshine Coast has risen to its highest level since 2009 according to the latest surveys.

Findings from the Sunshine Coast Business Confidence Survey revealed confidence levels had risen higher than before the Global Financial Crisis and the last Federal Election.

More than half of businesses surveyed expected an increase in profitability over the first half of 2015 and 53% reported that their business had performed stronger over the past six months compared to the previous survey period.

Suncorp Bank Head of Financial Market Research Darryl Conroy said the highest recorded rise in the confidence index level was the most encouraging survey result.

Mr Conroy said the result was in contrast with national business surveys which suggested a weakening environment for the business sector.

Now in its sixth year, the Sunshine Coast business confidence survey supported by Sunshine Coast Council, regularly attracts hundreds of business respondents to its biannual survey and is regarded as an important barometer for business conditions
across the region.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the survey results continued a trend of optimism returning to the local business community and showed the Council was on track to attaining a sustainable economy.

“The business confidence index has risen to 116 points, which is an all-time high since surveying began here in 2009 and nearly 20 points higher than the rock-bottom depths of April 2011 after the Queensland Floods,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Results from the first half of 2014 showed a trend of optimism returning to the Sunshine Coast business community and these latest numbers clearly show that confidence is continuing to rise.”

Minka Joinery Managing Director Viktor Barta said a significant demand for development on the Sunshine Coast had occurred over the past 12 months.

“After a number of very slow years we have noticed a very positive trend in inquiries for high-end development, in engagement of architects to design luxury homes and of people looking to relocate to the Sunshine Coast in search of land or a property to develop,” Mr Barta said.

“The certainty that has come back to the market has meant we are confidently moving forward with capital expenditure and further staff training and recruitment.”

Rockcote Director Chris Cameron said the survey results reflected an upturn in business.

“From what were very challenging times post the GFC, we have seen development and business confidence return to the Sunshine Coast and this has been reflected in our bottom line,” Ms Cameron said.

The latest survey figures showed: 
• 56 per cent of businesses expected an increase in profitability over the first half of 2015
• 33 per cent of businesses expected an increase in staffing levels during the first half of 2015; and
• 30 per cent of businesses expected an increase in capital investment in the first half of 2015
 
The largest constraints to local business remained rising overheads and utility costs, price pressure from competitors and customers and taxes and government charges.

Mayor Jamieson said the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) would provide more opportunity for business confidence to continue in a positive direction.

“Under this strategy we have identified the high value industries that are the keys to future employment and economic growth on the Sunshine Coast,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“They complement the Sunshine Coast lifestyle and our natural advantages and will provide a platform for future quality employment opportunities for our children as well as providing incentives for them to study here and attain quality work opportunities.

“In addition to this, our game-changer projects such as the Maroochydore City Centre and the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion mean the future for local business and our economy looks bright.

For more information and to download a copy of the survey results go to www.boardroombusiness.com.au