The June quarter Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Westpac Survey reveals a decline in general business expectations over the second half of 2012.
Manufacturing activity indicators remained mixed but were generally more subdued than in the March quarter, with most actual outcomes falling short of expectations.
The net employment indicator has remained negative, well below predictions and softer than in the March quarter and the net profit expectations indicator for the next 12 months is well down, turning negative.
Greg Evans, director of economics and industry policy, at ACCI said the results were disappointing.
“It is concerning that production costs have continued to increase strongly while selling prices have declined at a faster pace compared to the March quarter,” he said.
“These outcomes have put a further squeeze on manufacturer’s profit margins, as manifested in the negative net profit expectations indicator.
“The recent decision on minimum wages increases and the impending carbon tax on July 1st will put further cost pressure on manufacturers, particularly for small businesses.”
This article first appeared on SmartCompany.