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Economic performance to be stronger during next 12-months
Feb '08
The latest Visa-VECCI Business Trends and Prospects Survey shows that both the short-term national and state economic outlook have declined slightly as the drought lingers on and the higher Australian dollar and interest rates bite.

VECCI's Chief Executive Officer, Mr Wayne Kayler-Thomson, says the survey of a cross-section of Victorian businesses taken in mid-December 2007 revealed that only 17 percent of those surveyed anticipate that Australia's economic performance will be stronger during the next twelve months, down from 26 percent in the September quarter 2007 survey.

Fifteen percent of surveyed businesses believe the State economy will experience stronger growth during the next twelve months, down from 20 percent in the September quarter survey.

“Trading conditions improved during the December quarter, with improvements in general business conditions, sales, exports and employment, as well as a small increase in profitability”, says Mr Kayler-Thomson.

With the effects of the drought continuing over Spring and the Australian dollar at record levels, metropolitan survey respondents generally reported stronger trading conditions than their regional counterparts.

However, metropolitan survey respondents were less optimistic about the outlook for both the Australian economy and the Victorian economy than their regional counterparts, reversing the sentiment indicated in the previous quarterly survey.

“The further reduction in overall business confidence is a warning bell to State and Federal Governments that business needs the right economic climate to continue to invest.

Attention needs to be paid to measures that encourage business investment and productivity growth, such as lower taxes and charges, cuts in red tape, a realistic industrial relations framework and improved infrastructure.

“Delays in vital capacity-building and inflation-busting projects such as the Port Phillip Bay Channel Deepening Project will only serve to further damage business confidence”, says Mr Kayler-Thomson.

Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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