Business conditions have reached their highest level since the global financial crisis, and Treasury believes that cheap finance will continue to strengthen Australia’s business sector.
Secretary to the Treasury John Fraser told a Senate Estimates committee on Wednesday (25 October) that business conditions have improved considerably over 2017.
“Business conditions are now at around their highest level since early 2008 and non-mining business investment has begun to pick up,” Mr Fraser said.
“New business investment grew by 1.5 per cent over the year to the June quarter, the first positive through-the-year growth since the end of the mining investment boom.”
Business investment grew by over 4 per cent in the non-mining states. Mr Fraser said that the level of investment has started to stabilise in the mining states after substantial declines over recent years.
“It is encouraging to see that business investment is now growing and adding to the support that public investment has been providing to the economy,” hesaid.
“We expect business investment to continue to strengthen, supported by increasing demand and low financing costs.”
This week, a report into business investment was delivered to the Commonwealth and State Treasurers meeting in Sydney. It follows extensive consultation with small, medium and large businesses around the country.
The purpose of the work was to understand why business investment was underperforming relative to expectations. Treasury met with the CEOs and CFOs of the top ASX-listed companies and the chief executives of peak industry bodies, and Kate Carnell, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, led a consultation with SMEs.