Australia

HSBC Navigator provides comprehensive insight into the now, next and how for business, representing the views of over 9,100 business decision-makers across 35 markets. This report gives an understanding of how businesses like yours can continue to grow now and in the future.

Weak growth, but stimulus should support an upturn
Australia’s economy has slowed to its most sluggish since 2009, largely reflecting a pullback in consumer spending. However, mining and infrastructure investment are set to pick up and recent interest rate and tax cuts should support a modest upturn in household consumption in coming quarters.

State of play

Strategies for success

Despite subdued conditions, businesses in Australia are optimistic about their future. More than eight in 10 (84%) businesses expect their sales to grow in the next year. This is above the global average (79%) and the average for Asia-Pacific (APAC) (77%). Take that to a five-year forecast, and the percentage of businesses feeling upbeat about growth rises to 85%.

However, there is a conservative forecast for how extensive that growth will be. Only 21% of Australian businesses expect a rise of 15% or more in the next year.

Where that forward thrust will come from is an interesting mix of factors – improvements in productivity, the launch of new products or services, a motivated workforce and investment in technology. While these tend to be internal drivers, businesses also expect to benefit from new markets opening up and favourable changes in interest rates.

Although most Australian businesses are positive about the future, they are still taking measures to counter threats, mainly through investing in innovation and customer experience, expanding into new markets and enhancing employee wellbeing.

84 %

of businesses expect their sales to grow in the next year

Strategies to overcome the threats or potential decline of business

Investing in innovation
27%
Investing in the customer experience
25%
Expanding into new markets
22%
Investing in employee wellbeing
22%
Improving the quality of your products or services
19%
Tightening cashflow management
18%

Investing in new skills in the workforce

18%

Investing in better quality raw materials
and suppliers

18%

Investing in data protection

17%

Expanding digital platforms and channels

15%

Increasing vigilance to prevent cybersecurity
breaches

15%

Vertical integration or shortening the supply chain 

14%

Improving environmental and ethical
sustainability

11%

Investing in IP protection

10%

What you need to know

  1. 1

    84% of Australian companies project growth for their business in the next year, increasing marginally to 85% over the next five years.

  2. 2

    32% of Australian businesses believe higher productivity and new products or services will lead to growth.

  3. 3

    28% of Australian firms cite favourable changes in interest rates as a key driver of growth.

What your business can do

  • Firms can look further afield to boost growth. 22% of Australian businesses say they’re considering expanding into new markets.
  • In order to counter threats or business contraction, Australian firms are prioritising investment in innovation (27%), customer experience (25%), off-shore expansion and employee wellbeing (both 22%).