A slow start to 2017 has led to a decline in optimism moving into the second half of the year. Dun & Bradstreet’s latest Business Expectations Survey shows a generally muted outlook for the September quarter of 2017; however, expectations for employment are at a more than two-year high. Businesses have flagged concerns about the rising cost of utilities, as well as online selling by competitors.
According to Dun & Bradstreet Economic Adviser Stephen Koukoulas: “The optimism from the business sector at the end of 2016 and the early part of 2017 has not been sustained. Business expectations remain cautious for the September quarter following the particularly weak ‘actual’ outcome for the March quarter.
The information from the business sector accords with the recent official news on the economy – sluggish growth characterised by weak sales, profits, and capital expenditure, yet surprising resilience in employment.