class="MsoNormal">According to Roy Morgan, business confidence fell 19.1 per cent to 76.9 in April, with 64.8 per cent of businesses saying they are “worse off” financially than this time last year. More than 73 per cent of businesses are expecting “bad times” over the next year, while 58.4 per cent are expecting “bad times” over the next five years.
But the figure showed signs of recovery, with confidence averaging 82.0 during the second half of the month as the government began to plot a way out.
“There are several bright spots within the results,” said Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine. “Perhaps surprisingly, Australian businesses were growing more confident in April about their own prospects with 43.1 per cent of Australians businesses expecting the business to be ‘better off financially’ this time next year – up 3.6ppts from March.”
“The announcement that Australia will undergo a three-stage reopening process over the next two months to ‘reboot’ the economy has provided further hope that Australia may already be past the worst of COVID-19 and businesses can look forward to less restrictions on their activities in the coming weeks.”
The biggest declines in confidence were for transport, postal and warehousing (down 43 per cent), information media and telecommunications (down 43 per cent), accommodation and food services (40 per cent), property and business services (37 per cent), and construction (34 per cent).
However, public administration and defence confidence improved by 1 per cent and wholesale was up 5 per cent.