Northern Rivers businesses report decrease in sales, profits and staff

BUSINESSES on the Northern Rivers are reporting a decrease in sales revenue, staff numbers and total profits, according to a new survey by the NSW Business Chamber.

The March 2016 Business Conditions Survey has showed that fewer businesses were optimistic about the state’s economic performance than in previous quarters.

NSW Business Chamber Northern Rivers regional manager, John Murray, said 80 local businesses were surveyed.

“This quarter we have seen a somewhat surprising decline in local business’s perceptions of the state’s economic performance, which dropped three points on the index,” he said.

“Although 42% of local businesses reported an increase in sales revenue, an overall dip is sales revenue was recorded on the index for Northern Rivers businesses this quarter.

“The news is less positive for total profits, with the number of Northern Rivers businesses reporting decreases in total profits still outweighing the number of businesses reporting increases, putting this indicator further into negative territory on the index.”

A third of businesses said they expected to spend more in the second quarter of 2016.

Just 9% of businesses expect to increase staff numbers in coming months, which is significantly less than the state-wide average of 17%.

“Overall business conditions in the Northern Rivers remain favourable, but this survey takes some of the gloss off the stellar results recorded in the region in the previous two quarters,” Mr Murray said.

“The June quarter results will give a clearer indication of where the momentum lies.”

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