5 February 2015
Media Release - #2015002, 2015

In the role of: Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer [23 December 2014 - 20 September 2015]

Bill’s bungle: wrong about business confidence

Bill Shorten keeps on getting it wrong about the state of the economy.

This morning in his doorstop Bill Shorten tried to claim that business confidence was at all-time low.

“We have business confidence at an all-time low.” (Source: Bill Shorten, Doorstop, Melbourne, 5 February 2015)

He has been caught, yet again, getting it wrong on the economy.

The fact is that business confidence hit an all-time low when the former Labor Government was in power! The all-time low, according to the National Australia Bank’s Quarterly Business Survey (in place since 1990), was an index level of minus 30 points in the December Quarter of 2008. Bill Shorten has no excuse for not knowing this - these numbers were confirmed with NAB’s release of their quarterly business survey just yesterday (Source: NAB Quarterly Business Survey, December Qtr 2014).

In fact NAB’s Quarterly Business Confidence index currently sits in positive territory at an index level of +2 points for the December quarter of 2014.

The average NAB business confidence index under the Coalition has been +6 index points, the average NAB business confidence under Labor was minus 0.2 index points. (Source: NAB Quarterly Business Survey, December Qtr 2014)

We have also seen some pleasing green shoots in the economy over recent months that Bill Shorten should scrub up on…These include:

  • Over 200,000 jobs were created last year (213,900). This equates to around 585 new jobs each day, or a new job every 2 ½ minutes. In 2014 jobs growth was more than triple the rate seen in 2013.
  • The Dun&Bradstreet Business Expectations Survey, released on 3 February 2015, found that the outlook on employment is the most positive it has been for 10 years.
  • According to the ABS and ANZ, job advertisement levels are at their highest levels in over two years, with the yearly growth of job advertisements at a 3 ½ year high.
  • Lower petrol prices mean less pressure on household Budgets. Australians are paying, on average, over 47 cents a litre less than they were at Budget time. This means a family using 50 litres of fuel a week is saving over $23 each week, compared to May last year.
  • Consumer confidence, according to the ANZ, sits around its long run average levels.
  • In 2014, there were 223,013 new companies registered in Australia – an increase of 10.2% from the level we saw in 2013. That means almost an extra 21,000 companies were created in 2014, compared to 2013. The 223,013 new companies registered in 2014 is a record since ASIC company registration records began in 1999.
  • Australia’s Retail Trade numbers have risen for seven consecutive months, to be a pleasing 4.1 per cent higher through the year.
  • Dwelling approvals are now a strong 8.8% higher than a year ago.

Bill Shorten should start telling the truth. He should be honest about Labor’s record and the fact that Labor has no economic plan.

Only the Coalition Government has a plan to build a stronger, more prosperous economy.

Labor should stop playing politics and put the nation first.