Economic optimism up

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Confidence is on the rise for businesses around a town “moving in the right direction”, a recent Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry survey has revealed.

In an investigation conducted last month, the BCCI found 77 per cent of respondents felt optimistic or neutral about the 2017/18 financial year, with 76 per cent reinvesting in their operations.

The statistics showed a rise in confidence when compared with the 2016 survey, with one in five businesses shifting their sentiment to the positive.

BCCI chief executive Jael Napper said this showed a consistent trend between confidence and capital investment in local businesses.

The construction sector recorded the highest leap of business confidence among those that completed the survey, with a massive 67 per cent surge in optimism for the year ahead. The industry also recorded a higher rate of business performance, a 33 per cent rise compared with last year.

Broome’s accommodation sector reported the lowest levels of confidence at zero per cent.

Five in six turned a lower business performance in the 2016/17 financial year.

The survey also explored issues of red tape, with only a third of local businesses reporting “unnecessary regulatory burden” and less than a third losing a local tender to a business not operating in town.

Ms Napper said she believed Broome was moving in the right direction. “It’s wonderful to see such a great rise in the confidence of local businesses,” she said.

“Strong business confidence typically translates into business investment and growth.

“In a low cycle, we expect to see a withdrawing of operations, which can have a far-reaching effect on the overall economy.” Sixty-two businesses across a range of sectors took part in the annual survey.

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