Welcome to the February issue of xpress.
It has been a busy start to the new year and the damage and loss of life from the floods around the country has put many things in perspective.
The destruction from these floods and other disasters around Australia will be felt in a variety of ways as the cost of rebuilding will have a widespread impact, as will the demand for skilled workers, who are already in short supply.
As outlined in this issue of xpress, results from the latest Commonwealth Bank Business SA Survey of Business Expectations indicate that local business confidence increased slightly, however it remains low after significant falls last year.
The interest rate rise in November clearly had an impact on business and consumer confidence, which was damaging in the lead up to Christmas.
The year has not started well for South Australia’s economic indicators with statistics revealing the pressure that remains throughout the local economy.
Local retail trade declined for three consecutive months in the lead up to Christmas, providing some real concerns for the local business community.
Our local unemployment remains above the national average and South Australia’s restrictive shop trading hours prevented further employment and retail opportunities over the Christmas trading period.
There will no doubt be further discussion about shop trading hours in the lead up to the Easter holiday weekend in April.
Recent CPI data indicated that the Reserve Bank’s preferred measures of inflation remain comfortably within its target range of 2 to 3 per cent and we can see no reason to raise interest rates in the coming months.
The 2010 State Tax Report released by Institute of Public Affairs revealed that South Australia continues to impose the highest level of business taxes.
This again confirms that South Australian businesses are not competing on a level playing field with the other States and we will continue to highlight the fact that South Australia’s current taxation burdens are having a direct impact on jobs and investment.
Following the success of the Tour Down Under, Adelaide is set for more action in the next month with the Clipsal 500 and the spectacular festival season. This will provide a great boost for the local economy and the opportunity to capitalise on the increased traffic to the State.
It will be another challenging year, but the local economy has remained tough despite recent economic pressures and we expect to see more of this resilience in 2011.
It’s another busy issue of xpress as we provide all the information about Business SA’s networking events for 2011, have a look at the assistance being offered from Business SA and we catch up with a couple of Business SA members.
Also in this issue is information about the Australian Chambers Business Congress which will bring together members from all state and territory Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Business SA is pleased to be providing support for the Congress which will be a dynamic learning experience and provide relationship building opportunities for local businesses.
Until next edition,