Welcome to the February issue of xpress.
It has been a busy start to the new year and early indications are that it looks like being another challenging year for the business community.
South Australia is a small business state and this year must bring a commitment to making it easier for businesses to do business.
The upcoming review of the Fair Work Act should have a focus on increasing productivity and not creating more troubles for business.
The introduction of the carbon tax continues to provide concerns for many businesses and its implementation mid-way through this year will have an impact on the competitiveness of the economy and it should be deferred.
Both State and Federal Parliaments must assess any new legislation extremely carefully throughout the year and ensure that no new business costs are introduced, such as those with the proposed increases in the superannuation levy.
Results from the latest Business SA Survey of Business Expectations indicate that local business confidence recovered slightly in the December quarter, however levels remain low after significant falls last year.
The improvement in business and consumer sentiment was largely influenced by the Reserve Bank’s decision to cut interest rates in the two months before Christmas.
However recent economic indicators revealed that the two interest rate cuts were not enough to get the economy back on track and we believe there was a strong case to cut rates this week to assist the many industry sectors that remain under strain.
This week’s decline in retail trade data provided some concern, particularly given it was in the lead-up to the busy December Christmas trading period and on the back of consecutive interest rate cuts.
This data confirms that it is a tough economic environment out there and businesses are struggling with the rising costs in doing business and the increases in levies, rates and taxes.
The recent State Tax Report released by Institute of Public Affairs revealed that South Australia continues to impose the highest level of business taxes in the country.
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 resilient despite recent economic pressures and we expect to see more of this in 2012.
It’s another busy issue of xpress as we provide all the information about our networking events for 2012, have a look at the assistance being offered from Business SA and we catch up with a couple of Business SA members.
Until next edition, Peter Vaughan