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Business spending hits 3-year high

business spending more

Small businesses look to be responding to the Federal Budget’s stimulus.

The latest Commonwealth Banks Business Sales Indicator (BSI) has revealed spending by Australian businesses peaked in May, reaching the highest sales growth in three years.

The BSI jumped 0.8 per cent in trend terms during the month of May, following similar rises during March and April. The annual sales growth level hit 7.5 per cent, 2.2 per cent above the decade average.

The Businesses Services sector saw a 1.9 per cent-growth in trend terms in May this year, which is the biggest rise seen since May 2012. The Businesses Services sector includes businesses focusing on Office Furniture, Electrical Parts and Computers, and Commercial Equipment.

“May’s growth in sales will be welcome news for Australian business owners, suggesting businesses and consumers across the country are feeling confident about spending off the back of the Federal Budget,” Commonwealth Bank Executive General Manager of Local Business Banking Claire Roberts said.

“However, conditions can differ in particular industries and regions, so it’s essential that businesses continue to plan for fluctuations in sales.”

On a consumer level, May saw economy-wide spending rise for the third consecutive month. A 1.0 per cent growth in May was preceded by a 1.8 per cent rise in March and a 1.8 per cent rise again in April.

“The latest sales figures indicate that consumer spending will continue to rise in the year ahead, fuelled by low interest rates, a firmer job market and improving economic outlook,” Craig James, Chief Economist at CommSec and author of the BSI report, said in a statement.

“The growth experienced by a number of industry sectors in May also suggests that businesses are responding to the stimulus measures in the latest Federal Budget, like new tax breaks for small businesses.”

Government Services had the strongest performance across sectors, rising 3.1 per cent in trend terms in May. Amusement & Entertainment came next with a rise of 2.8 per cent, followed by Businesses Services with its 1.9 per cent lift.