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Strong manufacturing performance lifts business confidence

Victorian business confidence in the state economy jumped in the final quarter of 2017, according to the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s quarterly Business Trends and Prospects Survey.

More than one in three Victorian businesses expect the State economy to grow over the next 12 months. This is the most optimistic businesses have been in over four years.

Much of this confidence is being driven by Victoria’s manufacturing sector.

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Mark Stone AM says “Victoria is cementing its credentials as the advanced manufacturing state as it leverages our world class design and engineering expertise, education and research capabilities.”

During the December quarter, 53 per cent of respondents in the manufacturing sector reported a rise in sales. This healthy growth is expected to continue into the first quarter of 2018.

The survey also shows the Victorian economy is continuing to diversify with the business services sector recording healthy sales, employment and investment growth. This sector includes businesses in the finance, property, recruitment, accounting and legal services industries.

The survey shows a quarter of respondents in the business services sector recorded a rise in export activity during December quarter.

“Entering international markets has traditionally been difficult for the business services sector. The fast growing Asian region and new Free Trade Agreements with Japan, South Korea and China have changed this and Victorian businesses are seizing new opportunities” says Mr Stone.   

The survey also revealed Victorian business is optimistic about the national economic outlook in 2018. Jumping nine percentage points in the December quarter, 36 per cent of respondents anticipate stronger national economic growth in the coming 12 months.

Victorian business is doing what it can to develop new products and new markets. Policy makers must support these efforts with measures that keep business sentiment strong, encourage investment and boost employment opportunities.

View the full report here  (Member only/ password protected)

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For all other enquiries, please contact the Victorian Chamber on (03) 8662 5333.