BUSINESSES in the Albury region say they are in for a rough year.
A new survey shows business conditions, sales revenue and profits all “remain in negative territory”.
The Murray-Riverina NSW Business Chamber said these indicators were all below the NSW average.
The chamber’s latest business survey was released this week.
“Murray-Riverina business owners are being hampered by a stubbornly high dollar, a mining boom coming off the boil and weak consumer confidence,” chamber regional manager Ben Foley said.
“I don’t see that changing any time soon, which means business owners need to buckle down and be prepared to ride out what could be a long storm.”
Mr Foley said that while being optimistic was always good, the continuing tough economic conditions were “taking their toll on business confidence, just as they have on consumer confidence”.
“The businesses we have surveyed are hoping for an upturn in the next quarter with better expectations for most of our key indicators. Most remain in negative territory and below the state average,” he said.
The survey found 38 per cent of businesses believed the performance of the NSW economy was weaker than three months ago while 14 per cent thought it was stronger.
The chamber said this would remain negative in the next quarter, given that 38 per cent of businesses expected the economy to weaken and 22 per cent predicted it would strengthen.
About 40 per cent of businesses said conditions had weakened this quarter, compared with 14 per cent that reported improved conditions.
The expectations for the next quarter were negative, with 33 per cent expecting a further decline compared with 18 per cent expecting an improvement.
Other key findings were 43 per cent of businesses reported fewer sales this quarter.
Forty-six per cent reported a deterioration in their profitability and 23 per cent expected to find it tougher to gain finance for their operations.