Australian businesses optimistic start to new year

Two out of three Australian businesses are more optimistic about growth this year compared with 2013, according to the latest Dun and Bradstreet's Business Expectations Survey.  

The positive mood has lifted first quarter expectations to their highest levels in 12 months. According to the survey, 18 percent of businesses are planning to access new finance during Q1 to grow their operations.

"With companies looking ahead with optimism, forecasting strong sales and profits and most recently showing a willingness and capacity to borrow money to grow their operations, the signs are positive for the new year," said Dun and Bradstreet's Danielle Woods.

While 35% of the survey's respondents stated that they had no major barriers to growth this year, the one cloud on the horizon is the expected life in selling prices.

" A stronger economy is in no doubt allowing firms to move their prices higher, but we are also seeing the impact on inflation from the recent weakness of the Australian dollar," said Stepen Koukoulas, Economic Advisor to Dunn and Bradstreet.

"This is likely to cause the reserve bank some concern, and is a fundamental factor why we are likely to see a series of interest rate rises during 2014.

"With interest rates expected to rise and more companies seeking to access new finance in 2014, Businesses are encouraged to do a review of their banking needs and shop around for better rates that will help fund their growth plans. For the latest business loan rates, go to Mozo to compare.