December Quarter SBI reveals that ACT SMBs no longer the most confident

5 February 2019: The December Quarter 2018 Sensis Business Index, released today, has revealed that after a tough quarter for sales, small and medium businesses (SMBs) in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) no longer hold the title of most confident in Australia.

The report, which measures SMB activity, expectations and confidence over a three-month period, found that following a ten-point dip in confidence to +46, the ACT not only lost the most confident Territory spot but also fell to four points below the national average (+50).

Sensis Chief Executive Officer, John Allan, said: "Despite witnessing a fall in the confidence levels among small and medium businesses, more than three in five (63%) SMBs in the nation's capital reported feeling confident."

Expectations for the next three-months were less optimistic than in previous quarters, with SMBs citing falling sales and profitability as significant concerns.

"While we have seen a decline in three-month expectations on key performance indicators among ACT SMBs, they all remain positive on balance. Predictions for 2019 also remained high, which could indicate a strong year ahead," Mr Allan said.

Support for the Territory Government suffered a fall of seven points to a negative balance (-2). The primary concerns referenced by the 18% of SMBs with a negative outlook of the ACT Government were excessive bureaucracy, policies that work against small business interests and too many costs.

"An increasing trend nationally is SMB opinion that their state or territory Government has no impact on their business, which is true of more than three in five SMBs in the ACT," Mr Allan continued.

Other interesting findings from the report:

· ACT joined NSW and Tasmania as the only states and territories to witness a dip in confidence levels.

· Twenty-seven percent of SMBs in the ACT feel the economy is growing, while one in five believe it to be slowing down.

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