The BankSA State Monitor showed state pride – which has historically remained high despite fluctuations in consumer confidence – had dropped almost 40% to its lowest result ever at 31%.
The monitor, which began reporting in 1997, also showed consumer confidence had dropped to a historic low since the last survey in November.
BankSA chief executive Nick Reade said the plummeting numbers could be sheeted home to embarrassment about our energy predicament.
The survey, taken before Premier Jay Weatherill’s energy plan was released this week, showed both business and consumer confidence had fallen.
“South Australians are justifiably starting to feel embarrassed about how we are perceived and the impact this may have on our ability to be competitive and grow going forward,” Reade said.
“It’s really important that we face into these challenges and respond quickly and decisively so that the current mood does not become further entrenched in the psyche of South Australians.
“For this reason, while it is a complex and multi-faceted issue, it is important that the State Government announced a plan to address electricity reliability, for example.”
The falls in consumer confidence were driven by negative results among 25-34 year-olds and the 50-plus age group. People in the 18-24 age group were the most optimistic in South Australia.
The drop in business confidence was driven by negativity in the agriculture and construction sectors, as well as mid-sized SMEs.
However, while business confidence had dropped, net confidence was higher among business owners in relation to their own business prospects in the next 12 months.
Reade said there were some good indicators in the local economy that should not be ignored including jobs growth in December, “solid” real estate performance, and other sectors also performing “solidly” including premium food, tourism and professional services.
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