Printers still to see Sunshine Coast boost

Business confidence on the Sunshine Coast is at a six year high, but local printers say the better fortunes are yet to fill their presses and times are tough as ever.

The Sunshine Coast Business Confidence survey revealed the business confidence index has risen to 116 points, its highest level since 2009, with companies saying trade has bettered over the past six months – and they expect that to continue this year.

According to the November survey of 222 businesses by Boardroom Business, 50 per cent say their past six months had been stronger than previous periods.

Some 56 per cent expect an increase in profitability over the next six months, while 30 per cent expect an increase in capital investment.

However, Sunshine Coast printers say industry conditions remain difficult, with pressures on pricing combined with rising costs for overheads and consumables.

The Inkspot director Sheena Den Ouden says the Sunshine Coast is a competitive market, and while her clients might be feeling better about the future they are not spending more on print.

“I think it is taking a while to get their confidence back after the global financial crisis, and people are also advertising more online these days,” she says.

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GT Print director Craig Mulligan says while volumes are a bit better, and his November was pretty good, prices are lower than ever as the print market is competitive and clients want more for less money.

“People want to spend less everywhere these days even when times are improving,” he says.

“We are continually being squeezed by everyone – clients, rising paper and consumables costs, and competition from each other.

“Hopefully the weaker Aussie dollar will mean less competition from China.”

Mulligan says the area’s economy is greatly affected by the weather as sunshine brings in more tourists, and has them and locals alike out and about and spending money.

“If the weather is good, especially over Christmas, business owners have a spring in their step and tend to feel better about things,” he says.

“The weather was good late last year and we have had a really good holiday season, people are telling me they have had great Christmas trade.

“I haven’t seen that flow through to me yet, but hopefully when the next promotions come around clients will have more money to spend on print.

“You have to find clients with the confidence to back themselves.”

Sunshine Coast Business Council chairwoman Sandy Zubrinich told the Sunshine Coast Daily the council has noticed it is not only business owners’ confidence on the rise, but that local consumers are spending more readily than they had previously.

“We have had good weather and a good tourist season; the last three to six months there have been no real setbacks in the tourism sector.”

The area’s business confidence contrasts with national results with the National Australia Bank monthly business survey showing flat results with businesses gloomy about conditions around most of Australia.

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