Businesses had a tough Christmas and are downbeat about prospects for the year ahead, according to the December quarter 2014 ACCI (Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) Survey of Investor Confidence.
Expectations for sales and profits indicators fell and businesses are pessimistic about the prospects for broader economic growth, employment and the general investment climate.
Kate Carnell, CEO of the peak industry body, says business owners are feeling pretty grim after a bleak Christmas.
“We saw a glimmer of hope in the middle of the year with a slight upturn in conditions, but that has now been reversed,” she says.
“The figures on profitability are the worst we’ve seen in the 23-year history of the survey.”
Insufficient demand is the main constraint on investment for the second quarter in a row.
Carnell says the government needs to restore business confidence by fixing the budget.
“We also call on the RBA to put rate cuts back on the table,” she says.