CEO Confidence Index, September Quarter 2019: Business confidence moves up

CEO confidence index Sep 2019

This quarter, CEOs across the country feel the economy has turned a corner, but it isn’t all clear roads ahead; with talent and access to credit remaining key challenges for leaders looking to drive growth in FY2020.

Our analysis indicates that following a boost from the federal election, business leaders’ confidence is being buoyed by the recent reduction of interest rates, strong equity markets and signs of stability in the residential property market.

The latest CEO Confidence Index reveals Business leaders’ confidence has jumped to its highest level since mid-2018.

While green shoots are appearing, business leaders still have lingering concerns about the current state of the economy, with perceptions about the economy’s performance compared to a year ago improving only slightly this quarter.

The latest survey was undertaken after the RBA’s first rate cut in almost three years, and this appears to have positively impacted CEOs’ expectations for the economy. However, recent cuts are not having a
material impact on a business’s ability to obtain finance, with one in four finding it harder to obtain finance now compared to three months ago.

Download the report to view the full survey results.

Key points:

  • CEOs anticipate a better road ahead in FY2020
  • Leaders have certainty of Government, but are uncertain of its impact on business growth
  • A stubbornly optimistic mindset is fuelling business growth
  • SMEs lead on flexible work to attract and retain top talent; modest wage increases ahead
  • The foundations of a pickup in economic activity are being laid right now

Watch  ABC News 'The Business Program'

Journalist Elysse Morgan interviews Warren Hogan, Chief Economic Advisor at TEC and Industry Professor at the UTS Business School on the recent index results

About the CEO Confidence Index

The Executive Connection CEO Confidence Index September Quarter 2019 was conducted from 19 June - 5 July 2019 and includes 251 responses from Chief Executives and business owners around the country. The survey measures the following indexes:

  • Views about economic conditions compared to a year ago
  • Expectations for economic conditions in the year ahead
  • Business expectations for the next 12 months on:
    − Fixed capital expenditure
    − Sales revenues
    − Profitability
    − Prices for their products and services
    − Total headcount

The survey also identifies the challenges and opportunities faced by leaders including business operations, leadership, talent and technology.  Members are CEOs and business leaders of businesses with up to 200 employees and annual revenue of between $2 million and $100+ million per year. The results provide insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by leaders and their confidence in the Australian business environment as well as insights into key issues such as political leadership, access to funding and market conditions.

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