Business and consumer confidence has bounced back, while state pride has also surged, the BankSA State Monitor shows

Posted on 02 Mar 2020

Business confidence has bounced back strongly over the past three months, and it seems the bushfires which have afflicted South Australia may have delivered a boost in state pride, the BankSA State Monitor indicates.

The survey, carried out in early February as concerns around coronavirus were starting to grow, reported that business confidence lifted 10.2 points to 115.4 - where 100 is neutral - reversing four consecutive falls.

Consumer confidence crept back into positive territory, adding 6.1 to hit 101.3.

When asked whether they were proud to be a South Australian, 84 per cent of business respondents said yes, while it was 63 per cent for consumers, with both numbers up on the previous survey.

BankSA chief executive Nick Reade said without the coronavirus cloud hanging over the global economy, business confidence may have been even higher.

“Conversely, there are strong indications that the bushfires may actually have lifted pride as South Australians rallied to aid the recovery of the state’s fire affected communities,” he said.

“I think that’s probably one of the key elements of the pride result. We’re certainly feeling a bit more up and about.’’

Bank SA chief executive nick reade

BankSA chief executive Nick Reade says state pride is on the up.

Delving into the numbers, consumers said they had increased their purchases of significant items such as cars and big ticket items in the past few months, and indicated they were more likely to do so in future. People were more positive about their household financial situation, and also about the possibility of their ability to find a new job if necessary.

Mr Reade said there had obviously been a torrid few days on the share market this week because of the coronavirus issue, and we should be mindful of the situation, but it was not yet showing up as a major concern for the bank’s customers.

Kate abraham of plant b life

Kate Abraham of Plant B Life

“This last week’s been a bit challenging so it would be wise to have some caution,’’ he said.

“(Overall) It’s a bit mixed out there, some sectors are doing particularly well and others a bit more challenged, but certainly from where we were late last year it’s better.’’

The construction industry was the only sector to report a fall in confidence, while community service, agriculture and finance are the most confident industries.

Kate Abraham, who opened Plant B Life on King William Rd, Goodwood, in October, focused on plant-based food, cooking lessons and catering, said she was very positive about people’s willingness to spend.

“We’ve had a great reaction to our classes, our kids’ cooking classes and the cafe,’’ she said.

Ms Abraham said buying prepared food and attending cooking classes was a discretionary spend, and the fact that people were willing to pay for it showed there was a sense of optimism around.

“We’re often having our best day ever, and I think people are also willing to spend when it’s related to their health.

“The interest in our dinners is amazing and the kids’ cooking. “I feel very positive about people’s willingness to spend money. If they’re into the product there seems to be no issue.’’

Business and consumer confidence has bounced back, while state pride has also surged, the BankSA State Monitor shows by Cameron England originally seen on Adelaide Now 27 February 2020. 

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