Confidence needs a boost before Christmas

Brett Mahoney

Welcome to the October issue of xpress.

It has certainly been a busy year with elections, budgets and political issues creating a lot of unwanted uncertainty throughout the business community.

As we move towards the busy Christmas trading period it is essential that businesses are able to build momentum and confidence.

The results from the Commonwealth Bank Business SA Survey of Business Expectations for the September quarter indicate that confidence levels have remained low following the significant fall in the June quarter.

Businesses remain concerned about the likelihood of interest rate increases in the coming months and the damage this will cause to the local economy. There is a full wrap-up of the survey results in this issue of xpress.

Speaking of interest rates, we welcomed the Reserve Bank’s decision last week to keep rates on hold.

Interest rate rises hit every business across the State and we urge the banks to follow the lead of the Reserve Bank and keep rates on hold to help ease the pressure on businesses and households.

It is important that consumers have the confidence to spend and businesses have the confidence to employ more staff. We certainly believe that there is no justification for an interest rate rise before Christmas.

Recent retail trade data remains flat and this is a concern as we move towards the end of the year.

Last week’s unemployment data also reveals the pressures being faced by local businesses and South Australia now has the highest unemployment rate in the nation which is a concern.

In this issue of xpress we review the recent State Budget. It was always going to be a tough budget and we acknowledge the bold decisions that had to be made.

Maintaining the State’s AAA credit rating provides a major boost to the future borrowing ability of the State and we welcomed the commitment to the Government’s pre-election infrastructure promises.

A review of the inefficiency, red tape and layers of bureaucracy that exist throughout the public service was overdue and we look forward to seeing a more streamlined service in the future.

It was disappointing that the Budget did not provide any tax relief for business. South Australia’s current taxation burdens are having a direct impact on jobs and investment and despite previous relief, we are not competing on a level playing field with the other States.

Business SA has expressed concern at the recent announcement regarding shop trading hours over the Christmas period this year.

Having shops closed for at least three days straight over this period is not good news for business and we’ll again be turning money away from the local economy.

The presentation of the Business SA 2010 Export Awards will be held next week and it promises to again be a great event as we pay tribute to some of the State’s finest exporters. Bookings can still be made via the Business SA website and we will provide an overview of the event next month.

It’s another busy issue of xpress as we also have a look at the assistance being offered from Business SA and we catch up with a couple of Business SA members.

All the best.

Brett Mahoney
Acting Chief Executive Officer

Adelaide Office

Level 1
136 Greenhill Road Unley
South Australia 5061

P 08 8300 0000
F 08 8300 0001



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