Positive Business
Twice as many businesses are feeling positive about their financials. Image – Canva.
  • 46% of businesses reported they saw no issues meeting their financial commitments
  • This proportion doubled since August last year
  • One in five businesses are looking to employ more staff in the next quarter

46% of businesses reported they expected they could easily or very easily meet their financial obligations – such as paying their bills – over the next quarter, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

Last August, amid pandemic lockdowns in some States, the figure was 23%.

In addition, the latest survey also showed the proportion of businesses reporting decreased revenue halved over the same period, falling from 41% to 22%.

Business ability to meet financial commitments over the next three months, August 2020 and March 2021

Business ability to pay
Source: ABS

“There was also a drop in the proportion of businesses using support measures; less than a third (29 per cent) of businesses were accessing support in March compared to almost three quarters (73 per cent) of businesses in May 2020.”

John Shepherd, ABS Head of Industry Statistics

“Wage subsidies were the most common support measure accessed in March (21%), with small businesses less likely than medium and large businesses to be accessing this support (20%, compared to 29% and 23%).”

This is further evidence that improving economic conditions are feeding into business confidence, as the worst of the pandemic seems to be in the past. Touch wood.

The survey also included insights about future actions businesses expected to take.

Almost one in five (19%) expected staff numbers to increase over the three months. For those anticipating an increase in staff, more than half (58%) anticipated that those jobs would be permanent.

The data was collected between 10 March and 17 March.

Property Implications

Along with the strong December quarter growth figures released today, this result (as it is forward-looking) shows that the overall sentiment in the economy is positive, increasingly so, and continuing. This could feed into the property boom that we are seeing across the country.

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Source: Business Conditions and Sentiments, March 2021, ABS (Cat. No. 5676.0.55.003).

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