SME Survey September Quarter 2009 shows considerable improvement
The recently released National Australia Bank survey showed considerable improvement in business conditions among small to medium businesses – the NAB’s SME business conditions index improved by 15 points and is now in positive territory with 25% SMEs reporting good or very good conditions. Moreover SMEs are optimistic about the twelve-month profitability outlook with customer confidence/demand, seasonal conditions and more favorable competitive factors the key drivers of trading conditions. For SMEs in the lower turnover band [annual sales of $2M to $3M] the best conditions prevailed in health and wholesale, finance and property services were outstanding performers inthe midsize range [annual sales of $3M to $5M].
The twelve-month profit outlook for SMEs has also improved significantly following on from record lows reported last quarter this reflects strong optimism about prospects for the coming year and importantly SMEs are now the most optimistic about the annual outlook since December 2007. In terms of the twelve-month profit outlook, SMEs are most concerned about weak demand; and to a much lesser extent government policy, wage costs, labor availability, tighter competition, drought and funding costs.
We are certianly seeing evidence of this “upturn” amongst clients who are again focusing on growth plans and strategies to expand and develop business opportunties.