DOWNTURN: Businesses reported a lessening of wage pressures from the mining sector, according to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s March quarter pulse survey.
DOWNTURN: Businesses reported a lessening of wage pressures from the mining sector, according to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s March quarter pulse survey. THINKSTOCK

Confidence in nation's economic engine is cooling

CONFIDENCE in the economic outlook in the Central Queensland region continues to lag behind other areas of the state.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry's March quarter pulse survey found confidence in the business community remained soft as a cooling in the resources sector led to significant declines in revenues, profitability and general business conditions.

Businesses reported a lessening of wage pressures from the mining sector, but employment also eased during the quarter suggesting other businesses were also trimming back on workers.

Some businesses that were servicing the mining industry shut their doors during the March quarter as companies in the mining sector took a more cautious approach to general spending.

CCIQ regional manager Victoria Bradshaw said there were some bright spots in the regional economy but sentiment around mining still dominated confidence measures.

"The recent downturn in industry is predominately driven by the downturn in mining and the flow-on effect that this has on associated service industries, and has definitely caused concern amongst the business community in Central Queensland," Ms Bradshaw said.

"While other sectors such as construction are relatively buoyant there is still an air of uncertainty fuelled by the oncoming election and, in the Capricorn region specifically, the distraction of de-amalgamation has caused some angst in the business community.

Ms Bradshaw pointed to "distinct tourism opportunities" as well as some positive development in industrial areas.

"Asian investors from China have been attracted to the Central Coast in the development of Lindeman Island and tourists from this region have been supporting businesses in the Airlie beach and surrounds," she said.

"The recent formation of a new Chamber in Capricornia has also attracted a great deal of support and interest, and the business community in Capricornia is poised to unite through the chamber and drive the business sector forward."



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