"Australian businesses," says the Sage Business Index 2014 "are optimistic about their own prospects, scoring their confidence at 63.71 points out of 100 [and] are more confident than many other countries when it comes to their national economy scoring it at 54.52, 2.89 points above the global average."
Sage goes on to say: "Similarly, confidence in the global economy was 2.47 points above the global average at 54.15. This suggests that Australian business decision-makers believe that both the national and global economies are improving rather than declining."
Those findings should come as no surprise, given the health of the Australian economy and how much better it weathered the storms of the global financial crisis than many others.
Given some of the recent developments around the world, this optimism might seem a little misplaced. However Sage goes on say that those Australians most in tune with the world beyond our shores are also the most optimistic."Among the most confident, were those businesses operating beyond their domestic market."
But it was in their willingness to take risk that Australian's stood above others. Fifty three percent of those surveyed described themselves as risk-seekers, four percent above the global average of 49 percent.
The Sage Business Index is an annual global measure of confidence across small and medium sized companies. To compile it Sage surveyed 13,710 decision-makers in businesses in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Poland, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil, Australia, Morocco and Tunisia. This was the first time Australia had been included.
Sage reported: "All scores recorded this year were at their highest since the Sage Business Index began in 2011, suggesting that business confidence has recovered following the worst of the global economic crisis."
Business decision-makers were asked to plot their confidence on a scale of 1-100 on three core areas affecting their business. Confidence in prospects for their own businesses has risen 2.13 points to 64.14. Confidence in their country’s economy has risen 2.78 points to 51.63. Confidence in the global economy has risen 3.08 points to 51.68.
Sage said: "Confidence has been on the rise for some time but we appear to have reached a global tipping point where for the first time businesses are optimistic about the prospects for their business, their national economy and the global economy."
And it said that most were gearing up for growth. "To achieve business growth, globally over a third of businesses aim to increase their customer loyalty and the same proportion aim to reduce operating costs."