CHART: Revenue crashed for 30% of Australian small businesses last year -- and that was a good result

Nearly one-third of Australian small businesses reported a decrease in revenue over the past 12 months, according to accounting firm MYOB’s Business Monitor results.

Now in its sixth year, the bi-annual survey of about 1000 small-to-medium business owners found that 23% of SME owners increased their revenue in the last 12 months – a stat which is on the up – and a further 43% reported stable revenue over the same period.

The chart below shows 30% of small businesses in Australia recorded lower revenues over the past 12 months and while it is lower compared to previous years, with such a big proportion of businesses reporting flat revenue growth it adds to the argument that Australia’s economy is in a transitional state – especially as growth, which was fueled by mining investment and Chinese demand, drops away with the Aussie dollar and commodity prices.

By sector, SMEs in finance and insurance had a significant increase in revenue growth with 41% reporting a rise, up from 20% in August 2014. Transport (38%), retail (37%) and construction (36%) businesses reported the largest revenue falls in the past year.

MYOB CEO Tim Reed said: “We continue to see a larger number [of businesses] experiencing declining revenue than those seeing it grow. For the sake of our economy, we need to address this by providing the nation’s SMEs with the support they need to drive their businesses forward.”

As for the year ahead, small business sentiment is relatively unchanged with 33% of SMEs are expecting revenue to grow and 22% of those surveyed expecting falling revenues.

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