Industry survey reports 'we're in for a rough ride'

Survey released today shows the trucking industry is in for tough times

By Samantha Freestone

Freight levels may be seriously impacted by the global financial crisis with 60 percent of companies recently surveyed already reporting a negative downturn.

The Australian Business and the Global Economic and Financial Crisis Survey (AI Group), released today, finds more than 300 businesses in manufacturing, services and construction industries are already impacted by the worsening economy.

Ai Group Chief Executive Heather Ridout says projection for new orders are "particularly worrying" with one in four companies reporting a strongly negative impact on fresh business.

"Whether this downturn in new orders is sustained and flows through into major impacts on future production will depend in great part on whether or not confidence returns to the market," Ridout says.

The report states one quarter of companies surveyed report a "strongly negative" impact with 36 percent reporting "moderately negative impact" to their overall business.

13 percent report "strongly negative impact on current production levels," the report finds.

She says 56 percent of businesses report negative impacts on capital expenditure with half of these reporting a strongly negative impact on investment.

Greater numbers of businesses report a scaling back of future investment plans.

"This survey, combined with anecdotal evidence from a wide cross-section of sources, confirms that we are in for a rough ride.

"It suggests very strongly that the malaise has spread to the real economy and that we are yet to feel the full impacts," Ridout says.

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