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SA business confidence at 'record high' before lockdown

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Business confidence in South Australia was at its highest level ever recorded just before last week’s state-wide lockdown was enforced, according to the latest BankSA State Monitor survey.

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The phone survey of 300 small business owners, conducted from July 6 to 12, found business confidence increased 4.7 points from the last survey in February to reach 134.6 points.

BankSA says it is the highest confidence level ever reached since the State Monitor was introduced in 1997, although the results were taken just a week before South Australia’s seven-day state-wide lockdown came into force last Tuesday, July 20.

But BankSA state general manager business banking David Firth said the positive momentum is expected to continue despite the temporary business shutdown.

“Because the lockdown was so short, and there were financial support measures provided by the government, we expect the impact on confidence to be limited,” he said.

“There might be a slight dip in confidence as the challenges of the pandemic continue, however South Australia has managed outbreaks incredibly well and this will continue to support confidence.”

Consumer confidence dipped 3.1 points but is still the second highest rating recorded since October 2010 according to BankSA.

“We did see a decrease in consumers’ confidence in their own financial position over the coming 12 months,” Firth said.

“However, in other measures that have seen a reduction – such as household likelihood to be considering major purchases and feeling about own household situation – they are still at high levels with more respondents positive than not.”

Regional business confidence also recorded a 3.3 point dip along with a 6.8 point drop in rural consumer confidence.

However, both still remain in positive territory above the benchmark rating of 100.

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