19 October 2017
Small firms’ growth expectations remain high
Business confidence amongst small firms eased in September but remains respectable, according to ANZ’s quarterly Business Micro Scope survey.
A net 14% of small businesses – down from 17% in the June quarter – say they are confident about general business conditions for the year ahead. Within this group, micro firms (0-5 employees) slipped by 4 points and intermediate-sized businesses dropped by 2 points.
The ANZ composite measure – a key proxy for growth based on firms’ own activity outlook, hiring, investment and profit expectations – eased slightly to +20, but that’s still elevated. The composite measure for the agricultural sector lifted to historic highs.
Agriculture based small businesses are more upbeat, consistent with firmer commodity prices. Business activity expectations for agriculture-focused small firms topped the other sectors for the first time in over six years at a net 42%, while their profit expectations surged to a four-year high of +28%.