Statistics released by Westpac reveal Australian small business confidence has dipped by 9.2 percent in November after a post-budget bounce in August.
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Small Business Index, which measures the confidence, current performance and future plans of the Australian small business sector, dropped from 129.9 points to 117.9 points.
There was also a 14.9 percent drop in the Current Performance Index to 130.6 points, and a 4.7 percent drop in the Future Performance Index to 134 points.
Yes despite the downward spiral, Westpac’s General Manager of SME, Julie Rynski, said small business are still very positive about the future.
“It is no surprise that we have seen a decrease in the Index after the boost in confidence seen post federal budget announcement of small business incentives, albeit not enough to see it enter negative territory,” she said.
“We are still in an environment of lower rates and a lower Australian dollar, so we expect small business to remain optimistic, particularly in the lead-up to the holiday period, for example in the hospitality industry, a net balance of 30.2 percent of businesses are expecting to hire more staff.”
One third of respondents nominated the economy as having a negative impact on their performance with customers noted by 54 percent as being the most positive factor affecting their business.
The payment options for small business is changing too, with almost half (44.6 percent) of small business owners reporting increases in the use of cashless payments including tap-and-pay, mobile and online payments, particularly in wholesale, retail and hospitality industries.
The Index was released at the same time as MYOB’s monthly SME Snapshot survey which revealed that of the 400 small to medium businesses surveyed, almost half thought the change in Prime Ministers from Tony Abbott to Malcolm Turnbull would mean very little for them.
“45 per cent thought the change in PM would have no impact at all, although this might reflect the warm reception the ‘SME package’ the Federal Budget received under previous leadership,” said MYOB CTO Simon Raik-Allen.
But it’s pretty good news overall for Turnbull, with 35 percent suggesting he would have a positive impact on their perception of the government’s support for SMEs, and only 5 percent believing his ascension would have negative implications for them.