17 Dec 2012

Business confidence at record highs: CBA

6:28 am on 17 December 2012

Optimism among mid-sized businesses in Australia is at record highs in the lead-up to Christmas.

A quarterly survey for the Commonwealth Bank's future business index rose to 9.3 in December, from 4.3 in September.

The survey focuses on companies with a revenue of $A10 - $A100 million, assessing their outlook on business conditions and challenges, projected revenue, investment plans and how prepared they are to cope with volatile conditions in the next six months.

The index first reached 9.3 in March this year, which was its highest ever score.

AAP reports 45% of the companies surveyed said they were well-prepared for future business conditions, while 31% said they thought conditions would improve in the next six months.

However, they expressed concern about rising energy costs in Australia and a potential economic slowdown in Asia.

Looking at individual sectors, transport and logistics, business services and information, and media and technology were the most confident.

The least confident included manufacturing, wholesale trade and mining - with the latter reporting a significant drop.

AAP reports the index showed moderate optimism among the states and territories, with Victoria and Tasmania recording steady confidence, both rising to 14 from 6.2.

New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory were the only regions in decline, both falling to six from 10.4.