The Federal Election is hurting business confidence, along with uncertainty over key policy areas such as tax policy and workplace relations, according to the latest quarterly survey
of Sydney businesses.
Business conditions have fallen sharply across NSW but some of the biggest changes over the past year have been observed in Sydney where it has gone from being one of the strongest performers across the state to weighing on conditions overall.
“Many of the factors putting a dampener on business confidence are concentrated in Sydney,” Chris Lamont, Director of Policy, Advocacy and Influence of the NSW Business Chamber, said.
“Housing price falls have been more severe in Sydney than anywhere else in the country while looming changes to property taxes at the Federal level are also creating uncertainty,” he said.
Mr Lamont said some of the sharpest drops were among businesses in the rental, hiring and real estate services, retail, and construction industries — all of which are affected by an uncertain outlook in the property market. Sydney-based manufacturers were also doing it tough while health and education providers remained strong.
“Clearly the property market is weighing on business sentiment with fewer property market transactions, a weaker residential construction outlook and consumer confidence hit by falling asset values.
“At the very least significant changes in tax policy will require another look at their finances and given the significance of changes proposed, businesses seem to be delaying big decisions such as taking on new staff or making capital investments,” Mr Lamont said.
“We’ve seen a huge turnaround in business confidence across the state with business looking to state and federal governments to steady the ship as they settle into government after their respective elections.
“This means a sensible and clear policy direction guided by a steady hand rather than populist gestures,” Mr Lamont said.