No Great Expectations


Life in Australia might not be slipping back to the living standards of Dickensian Britain — or even modern day Britain — but there are signs that economic growth here is faltering.

Last quarter’s GDP result was a surprise (a 1.2 percent drop) and now a survey from Dun and Bradstreet shows that sales expectations are the lowest for two years.

Each quarter Dun and Bradstreet surveys 1,200 business owners and senior executives to gauge their expectations for sales, profits, employment, capital investment and selling prices. Of those indicators only selling prices are holding up, with the rest showing a lowering of expectations. Many businesses are intending to employ fewer people and cut back on capital investment — both indicators that these businesses are bunkering down for a period without marked growth.

In this episode of BTalk, Dun & Bradstreet CEO Christine Christian talks about how these results show what most of us already know, that the mining industry is masking the problems experienced by other sectors in Australia’s “clearly delineated, two-speed economy”.

I ask Christine whether these indicators suggest another quarter of declining GDP, which would put Australia back into recession.

First published on CBS News

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