Worrying signs for CQ businesses as confidence drops

THE latest research has seen business confidence in Central Queensland drop to the lowest levels in the state, but financial adviser David French says it's not all bad in Rockhampton.

The managing director of Capricorn Investment Partners said while the Beef Capital was struggling, the data also took in areas like Gladstone and Mackay which were hit harder by the mining downturn.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry surveyed 750 small businesses for the report into the September quarter.

Overall, the Westpac Group-CCIQ Survey of Business Conditions has shown some worrying signs, with confidence levels dropping to a low of 35.

CCIQ senior policy adviser of advocacy Kate Whittle said business performance for CQ was well below other regions in Queensland.

"Central Queensland businesses recorded falls across all key performance indicators, with capital expenditure now the lowest in the state," she said.

Ms Whittle said while business conditions might lift, signs pointed to small businesses doing it tough in the lead-up to Christmas because of the drought and mining downturn.

Mr French said things like Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull coming to power, China abandoning its one-child policy and even Michelle Payne winning the Melbourne Cup could all create positivity which would in turn stimulate business confidence.

However, he also acknowledged that job cuts from businesses like Aurizon and the concentration of government jobs in the south were hard on the community.

"I think when the economy is buoyant and people are feeling prosperous, that feeds on itself. When people are negative and don't see a way out, that feeds on itself as well," he said.

Key findings

General business conditions fell to 33.8

Profitability fell to 37.9

Capital expenditure fell to 35.7, the lowest in the state



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