For the first time in three years, more businesses are upbeat about the local economy, a survey by accounting firm CPA Australia has found.
Some 58 per cent of businesses surveyed predicted the economy would grow in 2014, up from 38 per cent in 2013 and 35 per cent in 2012.
But this isn’t translating into improved confidence about their own business, with 56 per cent forecasting growth next year, down from 60 per cent in 2013.
The percentage of businesses that expected to shrink or close in 2014 rose to 18 per cent, up from 15 per cent in 2013.
The election of a majority government is bringing some optimism, with 29 per cent nominating political stability as the reason they expected their business to grow next year.
“On the positive side, it appears that the change of government in Australia has provided a welcome shot in the arm to small business confidence with one in five small businesses surveyed expecting to increase employee numbers in 2014,” CPA Australia CEO, Alex Malley, said in a statement.