West Australian SMEs top the nation for growth forecasts, Victorian businesses most pessimistic: ScotPac
A massive 87% of West Australian SMEs are forecasting positive enterprise revenue growth in the six months to March 2023, compared to just 15% of SMEs in Victoria.
The ‘boom or bust’ predictions of the two Australian jurisdictions most affected by COVID-related lockdowns are contained in the latest round of the bi-annual SME Growth Index by ScotPac, Australia’s leading non-bank business lender.
Queensland SMEs were the next most upbeat after Western Australia with 77% projecting growth. SME forecasts in NSW were more subdued with 41% of SME forecasting growth and a third predicting no change in revenue.
Across the nation, the following is a snapshot of the sentiment of the 718 SMEs surveyed throughout August 2022:
- 54% of SMEs are expecting positive six month revenue growth to March 2023, the highest recorded figure since September 2019 (pre-pandemic survey).
- The average growth forecast of 7% is the strongest recorded since the very first round of the SME Growth Index in September 2014.
- 27% of SMEs are anticipating a contraction in revenues in the six month period by an average of 7.7%, which represents record low negative growth proportions and average revenue decline figures.
ScotPac CEO Jon Sutton said the wildly fluctuating forecasts highlighted that the Australian economy consists of many different economies within one.
“A lot of West Australian industries are export focused on markets that are proving very resilient, like iron ore and lithium mining to support battery manufacturing.
“Queensland has seen strong demand for its core tourism sector return as domestic and international visitors enjoy travel freedoms for the first summer since 2019. Internal migration from the southern States has also boosted business confidence.
“By contrast, Victoria is more service industry focused and the road to recovery has been longer. But we are starting to see green shoots with some huge Federal and State Government infrastructure spending commitments that will have positive flow-on effects in industries like construction, labour hire, engineering and equipment and leasing,” Sutton said.
ScotPac has been assisting business owners with tailored finance solutions at all stages of their growth cycles for more than 30 years.
“We have the breadth of product to help more businesses in more situations than any other non-bank lender.
“Whether it is helping SMEs purchase inventory as it becomes available or funding a new office or retail fitout, we work with business owners and their advisors to unlock the value in their assets and contracts.
“And we understand that speed and ease of transactions is key for SMEs, which is why applications, approvals and funds transfers for some ScotPac products can all occur within 24 hours,” Sutton ended.