Business Westpac Local Business Sentiment Survey.

Business remains resilient 

Despite a fall in confidence about future performance, a survey of 2,000 Australian small and medium size business owners suggests they have maintained a resilient outlook in the 6 months from March to September 2011. This is detailed in the December 2011 Local Business Sentiment Survey report. 

Key findings

  • Average business sentiment has declined from 60/100 in March 2011 to 56/100 in September however happiness levels remain the same
  • 57% of Australian business owners are experiencing 'good' or 'very good' performance
  • Positive sentiment is highest in the mining and education industries while agriculture, forestry and fisheries have the lowest
  • Compared to 6 months ago, the number of business owners finding it 'difficult' or 'much more difficult' to run a business has increased from 37% to 41%
  • The number of business owners struggling to manage their cash flow has risen from 32% to 48%; not surprising given that 34% don't have a cash flow budget. 

About the survey

Commissioned by Westpac, this second Local Business Sentiment Survey was conducted by AMR, an independent research company. It sets out to provide an insight into business owners’ sentiment based on their perceptions of current and future business performance.

The bi-annual Local Business Sentiment Survey report began in May 2011 (featuring results from the March survey) followed by this December report (featuring results from the September survey). The first annual comparison of sentiment will be released in May 2012 as part of National Business Month.

This report shares local business owners’ experiences of running a business, and the strategies they have used to maximise performance.

Read the full reports:

National report (PDF 332kb) 

Local Business Sentiment Survey - reports state by state
Australian Capital Territory (PDF 333kb) Queensland (PDF 331kb)
New South Wales (PDF 332kb)South Australia (PDF 331kb)
Metropolitan New South Wales (PDF 333kb)Western Australia (PDF 330kb) 
Regional New South Wales (PDF 334kb)Tasmania (PDF 333kb)
Victoria (PDF 330 kb)Northern Territory (PDF 329kb)
Local Business Sentiment Survey - reports by region
NSWMetro Sydney (PDF 310kb) Northern Sydney (PDF 311kb)Sydney South & South West (PDF 310kb)
Western Sydney (PDF 313kb)Country NSW (PDF 313kb)Central Coast & Newcastle (PDF 314kb)
Southern NSW and ACT (PDF 311kb)North Coast NSW (PDF 313kb)Newcastle (PDF 310kb)
VicEastern Victoria (PDF 313kb)Northern Melbourne (PDF 316kb)Inner East Melbourne (PDF 317kb)
West Melbourne & Western Vic (PDF 317kb)West Coast and Country Vic (PDF 318kb)Peninsula East & Gippsland (PDF 317kb)
Central Vic (PDF 316kb)Bayside and Southern Vic (PDF 316kb)Inner West Melbourne (PDF kb)
Northern Vic (PDF 316kb)  
QldBrisbane City & South West (PDF 315kb)Brisbane South-east & Southern Qld (PDF 313kb)Mackay and Northern Qld (PDF 314kb)
Brisbane North (PDF 314kb)Gold Coast (PDF 313kb)Sunshine Coast (PDF 314kb)
Wide Bay/Burnett and Central Coast (PDF 315kb)  
SAAdelaide (PDF 306kb)Country South Australia (PDF 308kb) 
WAMetro Western Australia (PDF 306kb)Regional Western Australia (PDF 308kb) 

Find out about the Davidson Institute -  helping local business owners make confident financial decisions.

Westpac local business sentiment survey