New research from Deloitte has found that Australian private businesses are the most confident in the world about their prospects for the next two years.
Deloitte’s report, Global perspectives for private companies, tracked the plans, priorities and expectations of around 1,900 private company leaders in 30 countries, and found that 78% of private Australian firms were very or extremely confident in the success of their organisation.
Deloitte Private Managing Partner, Sneza Pelusi, said: “Our outlook is uniquely shaped by our place in the world, with our research showing Australian companies are clearly more globally focused and connected, as shown by the proportion of revenue that comes from abroad, and the higher concern we have around the potential impact of global trade on supply chains.”
Almost half (48%) of Australian private businesses interviewed also expect revenue growth of more than 25% in the next 12 months, significantly higher than counterparts in the rest of the world (37%). Revenue growth for the next 12 months is expected to average 24%, with only 6% of private businesses in Australia estimating business revenue growth to be 0%.
Deloitte sees big opportunities for Australian companies in the APAC region, especially in the area of construction on large infrastructure projects.
The biggest risk highlighted by business leaders is keeping up with technological change – 30% of Australian business leaders identified this as their most significant challenge facing them in the year ahead.
Deloitte also found optimism in the impact of automation, with 54% of businesses saying they will not reduce headcount in the next 12 months – 14% said they would be reducing staff numbers.
Michael Clarke, Deloitte Private Chief Strategy Officer, added: “The Australian private market understands that automation doesn’t replace jobs, it improves the quality of them. Business leaders are taking advantage of automation, cloud and analytics to maximise their resources, but also recognising the importance of holding onto engaged and highly skilled employees to carry out higher value work.
“While the intention may not be there to hire, we are seeing Australian companies continue to invest in their people, significantly outstripping their counterparts in the rest of the world in this regard.”