While Australian businesses are continuing to feel the sting of COVID-19, a glimmer of optimism has been shown in Tasmania’s businesses conditions, according to recent findings.
NAB’s monthly business survey revealed Tasmania to be the only state or territory in Australia above zero index points when it comes to business conditions.
Despite Tasmania’s business conditions only notching about one point on the state-by-state index, it was an increase of about 15 points from June 2020 which saw a score of -14 points.
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Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Bailey said the result indicated that the strength of business in the state that landed it the strongest economy in Australia in 2019.
“We know we had the leading economy in Australia before COVID hit,” he said.
“What we need to do now is focus on those businesses that are not seeing this strong economy such as accommodation, local tour guides and some education products that are all going to be struggling long term.
“JobKeeper’s a great example of how that’s helped to settle those businesses at least into the early part of next year.”
It wasn’t all positive however, with Tasmania’s business confidence continuing to rate below zero.
Business loves certainty and one thing we don’t have at the moment is certainty.
Tasmania’s confidence for July 2020 was about -8 on the index, versus -1 during the same time in 2019.
“I think people are just worried, I think our business report shows that as well – that we’re all still holding our breath a bit to see what happens with COVID,” Mr Bailey said.
“Business loves certainty and one thing we don’t have at the moment is certainty.
“We don’t know when we can open borders, we don’t know when we can reduce restrictions and we don’t know when the world’s going to return to what it was or if it ever will.”
Despite being in the red confidence-wise, Tasmania was still second in the nation to Western Australia in that particular factor.
In terms of conditions by industry, mining and retail were the only sectors with index points above zero nationwide in July.