Confidence among Australia’s small and medium businesses has fallen this quarter, but remains above levels for the same time last year, according to marketing services company Sensis.
The results of the Sensis Business Index September 2016, which gathered data from 1000 small and medium Australian businesses, found that confidence fell by six points throughout the quarter, settling at +38.
This was down from last quarter’s +44, which Sensis noted was “the highest level recorded in the last five years”, adding that confidence remains eleven points higher than the 2015 September quarter.
“SMBs are relatively well placed for a positive year ahead. While perceptions of the current state of the economy remain negative, they are at the same level as last quarter, which was the best result we’d seen in two years,” said Sensis chief executive John Allan.
While national confidence levels remain relatively strong, Mr Allan pointed out that there were “some major differences” in the results of individual states.
“Small and medium businesses on the eastern seaboard are in a much better position than their counterparts in the Northern Territory and Western Australia,” he said.
“These regions continue to struggle to adjust to changes in their local economies and both Perth and Darwin are now less confident than businesses in regional areas in those states.”