Queensland boasts a new, self-proclaimed ‘business friendly’ state government together with continuing strong investment in coal and gas projects. Never the less local businesses appear surprisingly downbeat about their prospects with only 18.4 percent of them believing the economy is on the upward leg of the cycle. (Last year 53 percent felt this way.)
Perhaps the state economy is still picking up the pieces from the 2011 flood and cyclone disasters. Soft conditions in tourism, residential construction and some sectors of agriculture are also influencing business sentiment. Significantly 47.5 percent of Queensland respondents report not having met their revenue targets for the previous 12 months — when the money stops coming in, confidence invariably tumbles.
Queensland businesses see lack of consumer confidence and competitor activity as their toughest challenges over the coming year. Fewer businesses reported skills shortages, which is consistent with a slowing economy. However 41 percent expect to increase their headcount this year.
Just over a third of Queensland businesses have contemplated an exit strategy for the next three years. Sale of the business to an independent third party appears to be the most popular option here.
Sixty-three percent of Queensland respondents feel carbon pricing will have a high or medium effect on their business. Only WA has a higher proportion of businesses feeling this way.