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5250.0 - Australian Business Expectations, Sep 2000 and Jun 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/06/2000   
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MEDIA RELEASE

June 23, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
79/2000

Small business confidence falls

Small businesses expect their profits to fall significantly in the short-term, according to the latest quarterly business expectations survey released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In contrast, medium and large businesses are optimistic in both the short and medium-terms.

The survey produces estimates of the expected change in a number of different business performance indicators, in both the short-term (the September quarter 2000) and the medium-term (the June quarter 2001). In both cases, expected changes are measured relative to business performance in the current quarter (the June quarter 2000).

Small businesses expect their profits to fall by 7.4 per cent in the September quarter, with a fall of 2.9 per cent expected in the June quarter 2001. Despite this apparent decline in confidence among small businesses, profits for all businesses are still expected to rise slightly, by 0.6 per cent, in the September quarter 2000 and by 5.8 per cent in the June quarter 2001.

Medium businesses expect their profits to rise by 19.2 per cent in the September quarter 2000 and by 10.5 per cent in the June quarter 2001, while large businesses expect their profits to rise by 13.4 per cent and 27.5 per cent in the two periods.

Businesses are expecting their selling prices (exclusive of GST) to rise by 0.4 per cent in the short-term and 1.3 per cent in the medium-term.

The most pessimistic sector overall is the accommodation, cafes & restaurants industry.

In the short-term, businesses are expecting an increase in selling prices (2.6 per cent) and decreases in operating income (2.1 per cent), profit (17.8 per cent) and employment (0.9 per cent).

In the medium-term the same basic pattern also holds true with selling prices expected to rise by 2.9 per cent, while falls are expected in operating income (2.7 per cent), profit (9.1 per cent) and employment (2.9 per cent).

Details are available in Australian Business Expectations September Qtr 2000 & June Qtr 2001 (cat. no. 5250.0) available from ABS bookshops. The key points from the publication may be found on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.

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