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5250.0 - Australian Business Expectations, Jul 1997  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/07/1997   
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MEDIA RELEASE

July 4, 1997
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
82/97
Short and medium term business expectations

Businesses expect increased sales of 0.7 per cent in the September quarter. Total expenses are expected to rise by 0.9 per cent, while profits are expected to be down 1.4 per cent in the September quarter 1997 compared to the June quarter 1997. The Australian Bureau of Statistics today released Australian Business Expectations, September quarter 1997 and June Quarter 1998.

Small businesses expect an increase in sales of 0.4 per cent, while medium and large businesses expect increases of 1.2 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.

Large businesses expect profits to increase by 3.4 per cent, while medium businesses expect a fall of 2.4 per cent and small businesses expect a fall of 5.6 per cent.

Businesses expect capital expenditure to rise by 3.2 per cent but employment to fall 0.1 per cent.

Selling prices are expected to increase in the short term by the smallest amount since the survey commenced in 1993, with an expected rise of 0.1 per cent for September quarter 1997 compared with the June quarter 1997.

In the medium term, sales for the June quarter 1998 are expected to rise by 2.4 per cent compared with present levels (June quarter 1998 compared with June quarter 1997), with price expectations up 0.7 per cent (again, the lowest expected medium term increase since the survey started).

Businesses report that they expect profits to rise by 12.3 per cent by the June quarter 1998 compared with the present. Capital expenditure is expected to increase by 3.7 per cent, while employment is expected to rise by 0.1 per cent. Expectations of increases in sales and profits are greater for large and medium businesses than for small businesses.

Details of short and medium term business expectations are in Australian Business Expectations, September quarter 1997 and June Quarter 1998 (cat. no. 5250.0) available from ABS bookshops.

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