The Newcastle and Lake Macquarie region has recorded the highest level of business confidence of any region in the state according to NSW Business Chamber’s quarterly snapshot of business conditions.
“The level of local business confidence in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie is trending upwards and has improved significantly since the September quarter,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
“While Newcastle experienced a steady quarter, the Chamber recorded weakened confidence across the state, and the broader Hunter region due to ongoing drought and bushfires. Diminished household demand has weighed heavily on sentiment in both regional and metro areas.
“It’s wonderful our business community has fared well, but we do also recognise the underlying challenges that must be addressed in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie economy.
“These challenges include high levels of youth unemployment, increasing operating costs and concerns about the future profitability of businesses.”
City of Newcastle is developing a new Economic Development Strategy which will consider these challenges and propose new programs and initiatives to make our economy more resilient and competitive. Stakeholder and community input will soon to be sought for the development of the strategy.
“Newcastle has strategic economic advantages that create opportunities for our continued transformation and ongoing growth,” Cr Nelmes said.
“While the recent Business Chamber results bode well for our local economy in the year to come, we stand in support of regions across the state and Australia which have been devastatingly impacted by drought and bushfires resulting in significant decreases in economic activity and consumer confidence.”
The latest Business Chamber survey was sent to all business chambers canvassing 20,000 members across all regions of NSW and various business sizes. Respondents were asked to rate their performance across a range of indicators including profits, sales, capital spending and employment levels.
Respondents were also asked to rate the performance of the NSW economy and had an opportunity to comment on any other factors affecting the performance of their business.