New South Wales 

As Australia's largest state in terms of population and in its contribution to the national economy, New South Wales' economic performance resonates beyond its state borders. Thus it is a concern that business confidence in NSW seems to have taken a beating. Whereas in 2011 three quarters of NSW respondents felt the Australian economy was on an upward cycle, or at the top of the curve, in 2012 nearly half (46 percent) think the economy is on a downward leg of the cycle.

State of New South Wales 

Over the past 12 months, 42 percent failed to meet their revenue targets, although this is actually an improvement on the 55 percent that reported this way in 2011.


Despite their increased negativity towards the economy overall, only 13 percent of surveyed NSW businesses are predicting negative growth over the coming 12 months. However, a hefty 41.5 percent think their growth will not exceed five percent in the current period, which after allowing for inflation means that many of these businesses will be essentially marking time.


Main business worries in NSW centre on competitor activity and consumer confidence (or the lack of it). Respondents assess the main drivers of change as government policy and legislative change and the overall economic outlook. 


Thirty-five percent of respondents expect to increase their headcount in the current year, compared to 46 percent in 2011. Twenty percent intend on reducing headcounts, up from just 8 percent in 2011.


Along with respondents in Victoria, WA and the NT, NSW businesses feel economic infrastructure should be the main priority for their state government.



Figure 1: Perceived position of Australian economy in economic cycle


Figure 1

Figure 3: Employee headcount over the past 12 months


Figure 3


Figure 2: Fulfilment of revenue targets for the latest 12 month period


Figure 2


Figure 4: Employee headcount intentions for the next 12 months


Figure 4


Video: Private Companies Survey 2012

Video: Private Companies Survey 2012
KPMG's National Managing Partner of Private Enterprise, Peter Siebels, gives an overview of the findings from the Private Companies Survey 2012.

Full report

Private Companies Survey 2012 in PDF

Download a copy of the Private Companies Survey 2012 in PDF.