Business confidence highest since January

Firms throughout the nation are ending 2014 on a high, as Roy Morgan Research's Business Confidence survey for November points to a rise in sentiment.

The index witnessed an increase of 7 per cent compared to October levels, making its reading the highest seen since January. In fact, the index is now just 9.8 per cent lower than the peak seen after the federal election in October 2013.

Confidence was found to be fairly consistent across the states, with the only exception being South Australia where the readings continue to lag.

Industry Communications Director at Roy Morgan Research Norman Morris explained some of the findings. He noted: "The improvement in business confidence in November was due largely to a big increase in the feeling that the next 12 months would be a good time to invest in business expansion."

As a result, more companies may consider investing in ROI software and other products to better monitor their finances and ensure their growth ambitions are on track.

The proportion of firms that believe the coming year will be a good time to invest increased to 62 per cent, which is the highest level since January. It is also worth noting that this is considerably higher than the readings taken immediately before the federal election.

The November ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Index also pointed to mixed results, as there was a 7.8 per cent decline in the economic outlook for the next five years. However, people were largely found to be more optimistic about their own finances than they were a year ago.

"We think a key question for monetary policy right now is would rate cuts help build confidence or generate more concern and uncertainty about the future of the economy," said ANZ's Chief Economist Warren Hogan.

He emphasised that businesses will be relying on confidence to improve as the Christmas shopping period takes hold.

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