SOUTH Australian business confidence levels have reached new highs, according to a BankSA survey.
Results showed business confidence had increased by 4.7 points to 134.6 points in July, the highest level reported in the survey's 24-year history.
But, the improvement has been driven by metropolitan results, with confidence levels among regional businesses falling 3.3 points to 131.9 points.
Consumer confidence levels also dipped in regional areas, dropping 6.8 points since February to sit at 119.7 points.
BankSA Agribusiness regional general manager Les Ryan said while July had seen a decrease in consumer and business confidence, all SA regions remained optimistic, sitting well above the 100-index point benchmark.
"Combined business confidence across all the regions is still very strong, particularly in the state's west and north region, which recorded a 4.5 point increase this survey," Mr Ryan said.
"There is a significant contrast in the north and west between consumers and businesses, with business confidence in the region now the highest in the state and the only segment to record an increase in confidence."
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Encompassing the Upper Spencer Gulf, Far North and Eyre Peninsula, business confidence in the west and north region went from 134.0 to 138.5, but the region recorded a 20.6-point fall in consumer confidence from 123.5 to 102.9.
"The southern region, made up of the South Coast, South East, Hills and Murray Plains, remains the most confident for consumers," Mr Ryan said.
Consumer confidence in the southern region went from 129.3 points to 124.1, while business confidence fell from 135.7 to 130.9.
In the Mid North and Riverland region - which also includes the Barossa Valley and Yorke Peninsula - business confidence fell by 6.8 points to 128.6, while consumer confidence declined marginally from 126.2 to 123.8.
"When we break down the results, regional consumer confidence was lowest around having made a significant major purchase such as a car, white goods or real estate in the past three months, feeling less optimistic about their own household situation, and less confidence in using new technology," Mr Ryan said.
"However, the State Monitor findings showed an improvement in confidence from consumers that they could change to a better job if they had the opportunity.
"Regional businesses were a little more bullish than their consumer counterparts, with a lift in confidence to make a major purchase in the next 12 months and increase in turnover.
"However, businesses are more worried about their own business improvement and the prospect of hiring more employees in the near future."
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