Small business trading conditions depressed in first quarter: Midday Roundup

Small business trading conditions have remained depressed in the first quarter of 2013, despite some indicators suggesting marginal improvement, according to survey released this morning.

The latest Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Small Business Survey indicates small business conditions remained below 50 on the index, which separates expansion from contraction.

The survey found the expected economic performance index increased 3.7 points to 46.8 in the March quarter and the profit growth index increased marginally to 36.

Despite these increased, the selling prices decreased to a historical low of 43.5, down 2.5 points from the previous survey.

The small businesses survey ranked business taxes and government charges as the top barrier to investment for the ninth successive quarter.

Shares high on open

The Australian share market has skyrocketed this morning, following a strong United States market and a positive start from the mining and banking sectors.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark was up 62.7 points just after midday to 5243.5.

The materials sector was up 121.2 points to 9,544.4 and the energy sector increased 192.7 points to 13,566.7.

On Friday the Dow Jones closed 0.8% higher, up 15354.4.

Tom Waterhouse rejected as rugby sponsor

Tom Waterhouse is once again in the spotlight this morning, as his bid to become an official National Rugby League sponsor has ended, with both parties backing away from negotiations.

The sponsorship deal would have cost Waterhouse $50 million over five years, but ABC’s Four Corners will report tonight the parties failed to reach an agreement.

The NRL’s general manager for strategy Shane Mattiske told Four Corners they “failed to reach an agreement”, despite Waterhouse becoming the preferred bidder for the official sponsor title earlier this year.

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