The North and West region, including the Upper Spencer Gulf, has remained the most confident regional area of South Australia for business despite a 16-point dip recorded in the BankSA State Monitor survey.
The independent survey, conducted between October 8-12 found business confidence had dropped from 138.5 to 122 points since July 2021, contrasting with a 28.1 point rise in consumer confidence.
Consumer confidence increasing from 102.9 to 131 points means the USG, Far North and Eyre Peninsula have the most confident consumers in the state, another positive from the survey results.
This was mimiced in the state-wide results, with business confidence dropping by 14.9 points to 117.0 points and regional consumer confidence increasing by 2.2 points to 121.9 points.
BankSA Agribusiness regional general manager Les Ryan said the previous survey was undertaken before the full impact of lockdowns in NSW and Victoria were felt.
"At the time there was a sense of optimism that we were through the worst of the pandemic, which unfortunately was not the case," he said.
"It's understandable businesses are cautious as we wait to see how the roadmap out of COVID progresses, however the potential for a bumper harvest in numerous regions and strong commodity prices, have provided some level of positivity to the regional results."
Mr Ryan noted that the North and West region was now the most confident region for both business and consumer confidence.
"There was better news for consumer confidence with significant gains on the Eyre Peninsula, Upper Spencer Gulf and Far North," he said.
BankSA State Monitor findings for South Australia's regions were:
Southern (South Coast, South East, Hills and Murray Plains):
- A 17.6 point decrease in business confidence from 130.9 to 113.3 points (dropping it to the lowest of the regions for business confidence);
- A decrease in consumer confidence - down 2.8 points from 124.1 to 121.3 points.
Mid North and Riverland region (Barossa, Mid North, Riverland and Yorke Peninsula):
- A 10.5 point decrease in business confidence from 128.6 to 118.1 points
- A 6.0 point decrease in consumer confidence from 123.8 to 117.8 points (the lowest consumer confidence of the three major regions).
West and North (Upper Spencer Gulf, Far North and Eyre Peninsula):
- A 16.5 point decrease in business confidence from 138.5 to 122.0 points (but remaining the most confident region for business in regional SA);
- A contrasting 28.1 point rise in consumer confidence from 102.9 to 131.0 points (lifting it to most confident region for consumers in regional SA).
The State Monitor is based on a statewide phone survey of 300 consumers and 300 small business owners and managers.