The strong result for April came after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg handed down the federal budget at the end of March which included a slashing in the fuel excise by over 20 cents per litre.
However, the rise in business confidence came before the RBA’s decision to raise interest rates this week for the first time in more than a decade following the higher than expected ABS CPI result for the March quarter 2022 showing an annual rate of inflation of 5.1% - the highest in more than 20 years.
There were improvements across the index, and an increasing majority of businesses, 54%, expected ‘good times’ for the Australian economy over the next year while a slim majority, 51.6%, said the next 12 months would be a ‘good time to invest in growing the business’.
On a state-based level, there were monthly increases in WA, up 19 pts (+18.7%), Queensland, up 15.3 pts (+15.5%), NSW, up 6.5 pts (+5.7%) and a small increase in Victoria, up 0.9 pts (+0.8%). The only exception was in SA, in which business confidence plunged 13.5 pts (-12.4%) following the thumping election victory for the ALP, led by new Premier Peter Malinauskas, in late March.
Accommodation & Food Services was clearly the most confident industry in March-April 2022 with business confidence soaring to 151.4, up 30.4 pts (+25.1%) on a year ago.
Accommodation & Food Services was one of only three industries to have higher business confidence now compared to a year ago.