Australia's company directors just had a sudden surge in confidence

Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Company directors are more confident now than they’ve been in the last six years but are still concerned about what’s happening in Canberra, according to a survey by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

The bi-annual Director Sentiment Index, compiled using feedback from 1,100 directors between March 24 and April 3, shows that those sitting around boardroom tables are bullish about domestic conditions, with sentiment on investment levels and staff hires at their highest since 2011.

Confidence about their primary business is at its highest with 57% of directors expecting growth over the next 12 months.

The index is the only indicator measuring the opinions and future intentions of directors on a range of issues including the economy, government policy and governance regulations.

Here’s the latest index:

Source: AICD

“These results show that directors feel buoyed by the economic outlook and are taking a positive growth mindset,” says AICD chair Elizabeth Proust.

However, directors are concerned about the ability of the government and parliament to drive reform and growth, with 86% rating the current quality of public policy debate as poor.

Directors also ranked less focus on short-termism as the number one measure to boost productivity.

The AICD last month released its Blueprint for Growth national reform policy which recommended a range of structural reforms to improve public policy debate and encourage long term thinking including the introduction of fixed, four-year terms for the federal government.

The directors rated taxation reform as the most important short-term issue for the federal government to address, followed by energy policy and infrastructure.

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