Confidence sags amongst transport and storage SMEs

Sentiment mirrors similar feeling in rest of the economy, Sensis finds

Confidence sags amongst transport and storage SMEs
Weak confidence levels are found across both current and future perceptions


Confidence amongst small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the ‘transport and storage’ sector is set for more volatility at the end of what has been a fairly even financial year, a survey shows.

The sector snapshot comes against a backdrop of SME confidence falling sharply, amongst 1,800 firms surveyed in all sectors, to its lowest level in more than five years, according to th thee latest Sensis Business Index (SBI).

Results are reported as a net balance of the total number of positive responses minus the total number of negative responses and the survey was compiled in the five weeks to June 13.

The transport and storage sector, as represented by 100 survey firms, reported confidence falling 19 percentage points to a net balance of +13 per cent.

"Confidence in the sector was impacted by businesses reporting significant declines in business, with increasing costs also impacting on the sector," the Sensis report says.

"On the other hand, SMEs in the sector that were confident were basing their views on hopes that the economy would improve, that employment would rise and that government policies would have a positive impact.

"While increases were recorded in the sales and capital expenditure indicators, falls were recorded for employment, wages, prices and profitability, with the employment indicator, the lowest of any sector.

"In the next quarter increases are expected in employment, wages and capital expenditure, with the highest employment expectations of any sector."

 "The report paints a picture of weak confidence levels across both current and future perceptions. Current perceptions of the economy are also falling and were at a net balance of negative 19 per cent," Sensis Business Index report author Christena Singh states.

"This is the second consecutive quarterly fall. In addition, there was a fall in the proportion of firms that felt the economy would be better in a year’s time."

Performance indicators fell generally for sales, wages, capital expenditure and profitability with an increase only for employment and no change for prices.

In the short term, SMEs broadly were expecting falls in all indicators except capital expenditure while they expect all indicators to fall in the coming year.

Confidence fell in all States and Territories, except for Tasmania.

Victoria saw the lowest confidence level, while Western Australia experienced the biggest fall in confidence, a drop of 26 percentage points.

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