Thursday, July 25, 2024

Business spending lifts in June

Australian businesses continue to respond well to Government stimulus measures, with June sales experiencing solid growth, according to the latest Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI).

The business services sector, which recorded the strongest sales increase in three years in May, has seen further growth in June with sales rising two per cent. This surge has had a knock-on effect on nationwide spending, which also rose 0.7 per cent in trend terms.

Annual growth of economy-wide sales lifted for the fourth consecutive month in June, rising 7.6 per cent – the fastest pace in seven months and well above the decade-average trend of 5.3 per cent.

“June’s BSI provides a solid indication that now is a promising time for Australian businesses,” Commonwealth Bank Executive General Manager, Local Business Banking Claire Roberts said. “Sales figures continue to reach record highs, with businesses and consumers more confident about the economic outlook.

“A combination of low interest rates and reduced unemployment has resulted in a positive end to the 2014-15 financial year and businesses should be optimistic about what the next 12 months will bring.”

The BSI report’s author, CommSec Chief Economist Craig James, says that in light of recent international events, June’s sales figures imply the Australian economy is gathering strength as sales continue to lift.

“Despite recent global economic uncertainties such as the Greek debt crisis and China’s slowing economy reducing demand for Australian resources, it’s encouraging to see businesses and consumers embrace low interest rates and government stimulus, with spending growing at a steady pace.”

Industry analysis

In addition to the business services sector, which notably recorded the strongest monthly growth in more than three years, other industry sectors in which sales rose in June were amusement and entertainment (up 2.6 per cent), automobiles and vehicles (up 1.3 per cent), wholesale distributors and manufacturers (up 1.2 per cent), and large retail stores (up 0.5 per cent after rising 0.6 per cent in the previous eight months).

Only four of the 19 industry sectors recorded contractions in sales in trend terms throughout June, including airlines (down 0.7 per cent), mail order/telephone order providers (down 4.6 per cent), professional services and membership organisations (down 1.4 per cent) and transportation (down by 0.3 per cent).

State and territory analysis

Sales rose in all states and territories in June with the exception of Northern Territory (down by less than 0.1 per cent).

South Australia experienced the most sales growth (up 1.1 per cent), followed by Queensland (up 0.8 per cent), NSW (up 0.7 per cent), Victoria and Western Australia (both up 0.6 per cent), and Tasmania and ACT (both up 0.4 per cent).

In annual terms, NSW and Northern Territory were the only two states or territories to record lower sales compared with June last year (down 5.6 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively). In comparison, ACT experienced the strongest growth (up 14.2 per cent), followed by South Australia (up 8.4 per cent), Western Australia (up 7.7 per cent), Queensland (up 7.3 per cent), Tasmania (up 6.5 per cent) and Victoria (up 1.7 per cent).

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