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South West business optimism growing

About 41 per cent of South West businesses are expecting stronger conditions over the next three months, according to the latest Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA regional pulse report released today.

This could reflect an expected uptick in regional travel heading into the Christmas period, chief economist Aaron Morey said.

South West businesses also identified weak demand as the biggest barrier to growth.

The report found four out of 10 WA businesses were planning to increase production over the next three months, with the South West among four regions most likely to increase production over the coming quarter.

Again, this likely reflects a ramp up of intrastate tourism over the Christmas period, Mr Morey said.

Despite record levels of Federal Government stimulus, WA businesses did not escape the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and reported damaged profits across the State.

South West businesses reported a 41 per cent decrease in profits over the September quarter, and looking ahead, 53 per cent are anticipating profit margins to stay the same.

Businesses reported they were more optimistic about future employment opportunities, with fewer South West businesses expecting to lay off staff and a higher proportion planning to boost their workforce in coming months.

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