Sales expectations hit 10 year high

Business morale is climbing as the outlook for stronger sales activity has surged to a 10-year high, with 47 per cent of businesses expecting increased trade during the June quarter as confidence builds for the year ahead.

Findings from Dun & Bradstreet's latest Business Expectations Survey show the sales expectations index has risen for a third consecutive quarter to hit 37.5 points for Q2 2014, its highest level since Q4 2003.

Most recently, the Business Expectations Survey has found that 70 per cent of businesses are more optimistic about growth this year compared to 2013. In addition, 38 per cent expect higher profits, 20 per cent intend to borrow to expand their business, and 32 per cent do not see any major barrier to their growth.

"The steep lift in sales expectations is a confident statement from the business sector, which is viewing this year with healthy levels of optimism," said Gareth Jones, CEO of Dun & Bradstreet. 

These recent findings consolidate a broad pick-up in the business outlook that was first observed in the final quarter of last year with more positive expectations for sales, profits, employment and investment. 

"Of equally positive note, firms are reporting fewer obstacles to growth this year and revealing a greater willingness to start accessing credit to expand their operations.  Among the survey's findings, however, the continued rise in the selling price index and forecasts of higher unemployment this year have the potential to curb future sales activity," Mr Jones added. 

Since 2009 exposure to business credit has been especially flat with nearly 20% of SMEs unable or unwilling to access business credit to grow their business. The best loans in the market right now.

In the market today business loan interest rates start as low as 4.74% for Business Loans underwritten by residential property.

"The upswing in the economy continues to unfold, although the only moderate levels for expected employment and capital expenditure suggest a fully-fledged upswing may still be a few months away," said Stephen Koukoulas, Economic Adviser to Dun & Bradstreet.

However businesses looking to make the most of a low cash rate could look to lock in their investment capital before the upswing.