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Enterprise Numbers Flat

The number of non-farming businesses registered for GST, and having annual turnover above the $30,000 compulsory registration threshold, fell by 0.6 per cent in the year ended February 1999.

In the years ended February 1995 to 1998, the number of comparable enterprises increased on average by 6.9 per cent per annum.

The latest result may well reflect stagnant economic performance with GDP falling 0.2 per cent in the year to March 1999. Drought conditions and the Asian financial crises have both contributed to this result.

Births of new businesses declined, when compared with the year ended February 1998, especially in the number of unincorporated firms. There was also an increase in the number of companies which either ceased trading or dropped below the $30,000 compulsory GST registration threshold, which at 52,289 was up 23 per cent when compared with 1998 figures.

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