Roy Morgan Business Confidence Rises to 91.1 in December 2023

⚡️ Highlights:

1. Business Confidence in Australia increased by 5.3 points to 91.1 in December 2023.

2. This rebound in Business Confidence followed the decision by the RBA to keep interest rates unchanged at 4.35% in their final meeting of the year.

3. Businesses are concerned about the performance of the Australian economy, with nearly two-thirds expecting “bad times” in the next year and five years.

4. Despite concerns about the economy, businesses are relatively positive about their own prospects, with 42.8% expecting to be financially better off next year.

5. Business Confidence is below the long-term average, but higher than consumer confidence, and has been negatively impacted in states like New South Wales and Western Australia.

The most confident industries are Administration & Support Services, Community Services, and Education & Training, while the least confident industries are Retail and Agriculture.

A Positive Shift in Business Sentiment Following RBA’s Interest Rate Decision

In December 2023, the Roy Morgan Business Confidence index experienced a notable increase, rising to 91.1, up by 5.3 points since November. This boost in confidence followed the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) decision to keep interest rates steady at 4.35% in its final meeting of the year.

Key Insights from the Business Confidence Report

  • Extended Period Below Neutral Level: Business Confidence has now remained below the neutral level of 100 for a record eleven consecutive months, the longest stretch in negative territory since the index’s inception in 2010.
  • Economic Outlook Concerns: Despite the increase, businesses expressed concerns about the Australian economy’s performance, with nearly two-thirds (64%) expecting ‘bad times’ over the next year and 59% over the next five years.
  • Positive Outlook on Financial Prospects: However, businesses remain relatively optimistic about their own financial prospects, with 42.8% expecting to be ‘better off’ financially next year compared to 25.4% anticipating being ‘worse off’.
  • State-by-State Variations: Business Confidence increased in December across most states, with significant falls in New South Wales and Western Australia compared to the previous year.
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Industry-Specific Confidence Levels

  • Confident Industries: Administration & Support Services, Community Services, and Education & Training were among the most confident industries in December.
  • Challenged Industries: Retail and Agriculture faced challenges, with Retail experiencing subdued sales and Agriculture being the least confident industry throughout 2023.

Business Confidence and Investment Outlook

  • Financial Performance: A third of businesses reported being ‘better off’ financially than a year ago, while nearly half felt they were ‘worse off’.
  • Investment Sentiment: Businesses grew more confident about investing in growth, with nearly half considering the next 12 months a ‘good time to invest’.

Michele Levine’s Analysis

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, highlighted the positive shift in Business Confidence in December, driven by improved views on businesses’ performance and investment opportunities. She also noted the impact of the RBA’s decision on interest rates and the recent drop in annual inflation.


The December 2023 Roy Morgan Business Confidence report reflects a cautiously optimistic outlook among Australian businesses. While concerns about the broader economy persist, the stability in interest rates and a slight easing in inflation have contributed to a more positive sentiment towards business growth and investment.

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