Small business confidence continues to trend upwards

4th March 2015

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Small businesses in Australia are feeling increasingly confident, at least according to the most recent figures from the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Small Business Index.

The research paints a quarterly picture of the optimism felt by the country's small businesses. The most recent findings have seen confidence inch higher, up by 0.8 per cent.

While this is only a small increase, it does represent a continued upward trend that has been developing over the last few years. Optimism among Australian small businesses has grown 3.8 per cent over the last four years.

Within the survey, there were some developments which are a greater reason for positivity than others. Among the areas that were the greatest cause of optimism for SME owners were customers (50.6 per cent) and staff (22 per cent).

The financial position of Australian companies was also a major point of optimism across those who took part in the survey. More than half of respondents (56 per cent) stated they are in a better fiscal position than they were 12 months ago, suggesting that small business confidence is grounded in strong financial results.

Westpac's General Manager of Small Business, Julie Rynski, highlighted this development was part of an essential development that would drive further growth in a business.

"This result is attributed to a number of factors including the lower Australian dollar which is encouraging domestic spending; falling petrol prices; and expectations of an interest rate cut, which eventuated earlier this month," stated Ms Rynski.

These aren't the only findings in recent weeks to point to the growth of business confidence across Australia. Figures from Sensis found that business optimism is highest in south-east states, with Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia all recording high levels of optimism.

As business conditions continue to benefit smaller enterprises, companies will now need to be sure they have the right internal processes in order to make the most of these opportunities.