Pulse Report December 2023

The results of our Pulse Survey of business conditions for the December quarter is out now. 

The report shows natural disaster, upcoming local and state elections and a tightening economy fuelled by interest rates and inflation are restricting forward economic confidence in the state and national economies.  

It’s among the worst confidence seen in the survey’s history, tracking towards levels seen during the global financial crisis in 2008 and the height of the COVID economic crisis in 2020. 

Businesses don’t expect things to improve, with more than half of businesses surveyed anticipating confidence to weaken further in the March 2024 quarter. 



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Top constraints on business growth

An increase in operating costs driven through insurance, energy and fuel prices is contributing to a “perfect storm” for Queensland businesses. 

Workforce challenges have been the most significant constraint on business growth for the past two years. 

In the December quarter insurance premium costs were in the top three business constraints, reflective of recent natural disasters and cost inflations.  

Climate conditions and energy costs also increased as business constraints, with climate and weather vulnerability at the forefront of our minds during this disaster season, especially in those impacted regions. 

Business confidence

Poor business confidence is reflective of the compounding impact of high operational and labour costs and a tightening economy and lower sales, natural disaster events, upcoming local and state elections, external global factors and workforce challenges. 

Overall business confidence for both the Queensland and national economies is weak. 

About Pulse

Business Chamber Queensland’s Pulse Survey has measured Queensland business confidence and expectations for more than 20 years. 

The survey is the most authoritative, timely and comprehensive snapshot of Queensland business sentiment, providing critical insights into the opinions of business owners across the state. 

Pulse includes detailed measurements on employment levels, turnover and business profitability – knowledge that adds a great degree of confidence to the strategic planning and future investment decisions. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Business Chamber Queensland respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands from across Queensland and the Torres Strait. We acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal people as the Traditional Custodians of Meanjin (Brisbane), the lands where our office is located and the place we meet, work and learn. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.