Confidence levels are up for businesses and consumers across the majority of regional SA despite the impacts of COVID-19, according to the latest BankSA survey.
Conducted by an independent research firm earlier this month, the BankSA State Monitor survey shows that statewide regional business confidence increased 2.6 points, from 109.3 to 111.9.
Regional consumer confidence increased markedly, rising 11.6 points from 92.0 to 103.6 points, returning to once again sit above the 100-point baseline.
This brings all rural regions above the 100-point baseline for the first time since February last year.
Businesses across all regions reported greater confidence in the climate for doing business over the next 12 months; their own business performance in the next 12 months.
However, businesses in all regions reported negative results when asked about taking on employees over the past three months, or taking on employees in the near future, and all were worried about a downturn in turnover.
More specifically, the West and North region, which includes the Upper Spencer Gulf, Far North and Eyre Peninsula, reported a small increase in business confidence - up 1.1 points from 105.2 to 106.3 - marking two consecutive improvements.
The region saw a significant increase in consumer confidence, rising 24.2 points from 76.1 to 100.3, the largest rise across any region since reporting began in 2001, rebounding from its lowest level ever reported last survey.
BankSA State Monitor findings for the South Coast, South East, Hills and Murray Plains showed an increase in consumer confidence - up 5.2 points from 103.3 to 108.5.
But it was also the only region where business confidence fell - down 1 point from 113.5 to 112.5
The Lower North, Mid North, Riverland and Yorke Peninsula had an increase in consumer confidence - up 9.8 points from 91.0 to 100.8, its first rise after three consecutive falls, and an increase in business confidence - up 10.1 points from 105.1 to 115.2, rising from least to most confident rural region in the state.
BankSA chief executive Nick Reade said the regional SA results indicated that businesses and consumers were more confident than their city counterparts, with COVID-19 having less of an impact and seasonal conditions having been favourable.
"There have been fewer cases of coronavirus in our regional areas and they have been able to stay largely protected through the pandemic, which has been important for consumer and business confidence," he said.
"We've also had good early season rains, and with borders closed or restricted, South Australians are travelling within our state in greater numbers, supporting regional economies."
When combining metropolitan and regional results, the BankSA State Monitor shows that consumer confidence in SA had rebounded while businesses struggle to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
Business confidence fell 10.1 points to 105.3, reflecting stronger negative sentiment in the metropolitan area.
Combined consumer confidence rose for the second consecutive survey, lifting 9.0 points from 101.3 to 110.3.
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