After a flat quarter, SMB confidence was marginally lower but still at one of the highest levels recorded in the last seven years. Key indicator expectations for this quarter remain positive.
The key findings of the Sensis Business Index for March 2017 are:
- SMB confidence eased two points to a net balance of +44. Except for last quarter, there has been no higher balance since March 2010 when it was +49.
- Confidence was significantly higher in the ACT (up 18 points to +64) and increased in Tasmania (up five points to +43), the NT (up two points to +18) and Queensland (up one point to +44). There was no change in WA (+21), with falls observed in SA (down two points to +30), NSW and Victoria (each down three points to +51 and +49 respectively).
- The overall assessment of the economy remains positive. More SMBs believe it is growing (19%) than slowing (17%). The net balance of +2 is one point lower than last survey. However, one year ago it was -22, and prior to last survey, negative balances had been seen since March 2011.
- SMBs continue to show growing confidence about the economy in 12 months’ time, with the net balance increasing for the fourth survey in succession to reach +10, which is two points higher than in the December 2016 survey and 16 points higher than in March 2016.
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