Energy costs are rising and labour demand is down yet increased new car sales shows there’s still confidence about 2013.
Rising energy costs have become the number one concern for businesses, according to a recent CBA Future Business Index study. So even though the impact of carbon pricing and government policy has eased, apprehension remains. Instead, businesses should be looking to increase efficiencies to stimulate growth, which for many could mean sourcing equipment finance in order to become more production efficient. The study also showed that the rising cost of electricity and gas and other household fuels helped push inflation up to 2% in the September quarter, aided also by increases in international holiday travel and accommodation, medical and hospital services and the cost of vegetables.
On a more positive note, when it comes to consuming energy, new car sales increased by 10.3% in the September quarter compared with the similar period last year. The big growth was in SUV’s and 4WD drive utes which was also helped along by a strong Australian dollar.
Why is this significant? New car sales are seen as a gauge of consumer and business confidence. Such confidence is what is needed to encourage investment property finance which will helps underpin the building and property sectors, and for businesses to be seek finance for machinery to stimulate production output.
So while energy costs are dampening our enthusiasm, there is nonetheless significant underlying optimism which will help drive the lucky country towards a lucky 2013.