Meanwhile, Manufacturing firms saw a notable drop-off in optimism in the September survey, with Q4 sales, profits and capital investment expectations falling to multi-year lows.
"Business expectations in manufacturing have taken a sharp turn lower, which appears to be linked to the recent strength in the Australian dollar which is undermining the sector’s international competitiveness. Indeed, manufacturing is poised for a period of severe weakness with expected profits, sales and capital expenditure at the lowest level in at least four years." Stephen Koukoulas, Dun & Bradstreet Economic Adviser
During the third quarter, manufacturers were the most likely of all sectors to say their business would benefit if the Australian dollar was lower than the current level: 17.6 percent of Manufacturing businesses would prefer a lower dollar, compared to an average of 9.7 percent across all sectors.