by Alan Thornhill
Small business people are paying some of Australia’s interest rates.
And they are severely depressed.
The Reserve Bank reports that while recent interest rate cuts have mostly been passed on in full to home buyers, banks have kept rates high for their business customers, particularly those in small business.
“Lower official interest rates had been fully passed on to housing loan rates, but significantly less so to business lending rates, in particular small business rates,” the Reserve bank said.
So no-one should be too surprised to find that a new survey confirms that Australia’s small business owners are severely depressed.
The survey, conducted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, shows confidence at its lowest level ever, in the current series of surveys, which began in 1996.
The survey also found that small business owners expect the Australian economy to weaken further over the next 12 months.
And it revealed that there are already indications of rising unemployment in this sector.
“Prospects for small business remain weak amid global recession fears and waning business and consumer confidence,” the chamber said.
It said fresh tax cuts are needed to encourage business investment.
Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.
Friday December 13
The Dow Jones index falls 105 points to 15,739.
The $A drops to US 89.39US cents shortly after 8am, Sydney time
The Senate rises for the year, without passing government bills to abolish the carbon tax
Car industry workers’ plight to be high on the agenda, when the Prime Minister meets State premiers today
Australia’s unemployment rate rises slightly to 5.8 per cent in November 2013 (seasonally adjusted):ABS
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