Pulse Report | March quarter 2022

Business Chamber Queensland's March quarter Pulse Report data shows employment levels increased while labour costs increased with one in two businesses indicating they invested more in wages.

Key facts from the report:

  • Business confidence for the Queensland economy over the next twelve months has improved after a sharp contraction in the December quarter associated with Omicron strain of COVID-19.
  • Total sales revenue in the March quarter improved but continues to indicate weakening sales.
  • The significant escalation in operating costs is not expected to temper in the June quarter. 

Download the FULL report to read the analysis on Queensland business confidence and general business conditions.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia Ltd. is proud to partner with Business Chamber Queensland for the 2022 Pulse Survey. 

March Quarter Overview

Improved outlook on the horizon for Queensland businesses

Latest results for the Pulse Survey in the March Quarter indicate that Queensland’s business community has potentially turned a corner with an improved outlook on the horizon. Noting that this improvement comes from a low base and actual business performance continues to remain well short of where needed.

Confidence improved in the March quarter with Queensland businesses anticipating a gradual strengthening in the national and Queensland economies over the next 12 months but business performance during the March quarter, while improved, is yet to reflect actual growth.

General business conditions and total sales revenue improved during the quarter. However, considerable increases in business operating costs coupled with rising labour costs offset this improvement and as a result business profitability only marginally improved and is not yet at profitable levels.

Actual growth is anticipated to occur in the June quarter with expectations for general business conditions, sales and employment all registering strengthening PBIs above 50 index points. However, it will take longer to see substantially improved profitability.


In summary, this quarter’s results, whilst reflecting volatility, are promising in that they signal a consistent pathway towards an improved economic outlook for Queensland. The challenge will be Queensland businesses’ ability to navigate through an extremely complex array of issues as indicated by Pulse businesses including:

> Uncertainty emerged with the upcoming Federal Election

> Direct and indirect loss of trade and physical damage from the Queensland floods

> The labour shortage of skilled and non-skilled employees; exacerbated by ongoing housing and accommodation crisis

> Continuing supply chain disruptions leading to stock and material shortages, compounded by geopolitical uncertainty especially in Russia and China

> The re-emergence of inflation and the expected rising interest rates that may impact consumer confidence and spending, as well as business costs and contracts

> Rising fuel prices that are increasing business costs and also impacting customer budgets

> The lingering effects of COVID-19 on events tourism

However, there are also favourable influences

> The large scale winding back of COVID-19 restrictions

> The re-opening of interstate and international borders which will have meaningful impacts on tourism but also population growth and skill shortages

> Favourable commodity prices for Queensland exports

> Emerging post COVID-19 positivity across businesses and the community.

A better economic outlook is clearly evident in these results with greater improvement in business confidence of achieving business goals and the easing of many business constraints, particularly around economic demand and activity.

This Pulse's Hot Topics excerpt - COVID-19 and SEQ floods

The easing of the COVID-19 economic crisis and the SEQ natural disaster were key economic events for Queensland in the March quarter.

Offsetting this easing of the COVID-19 burden was the impact of the SEQ floods in February 2022. Of the businesses surveyed, 68% were either directly or indirectly disaster impacted.


Excerpt Quotes from businesses

"Mental health of our Director and all employees is significantly impacted. Staff absence due to COVID and not being able to recruit more qualified electricians is driving mental health challenges to an almost unmanageable level. The Director is having to work on the tools during the day and then run a full time job on the workflow and invoicing at night."

– Far North Queensland business


"Election will impact on economy as it always does - people don’t like to spend when election due."

– Sunshine Coast business


"Iron ore and coal, gas demand remain strong and prices are good as they are for many other Australian mined commodities. Wheat, canola, olive farmers should see better prices due to Russia/Ukraine disruption. QLD will benefit from post-flood construction boom."

– Brisbane business


"Freight - charges and international freight forward is out of control - one parcel of cleaning cloths from China sent by TNT/ Fed Ex - 3 weeks ago hasn’t left China yet. A shipment of 7 cartons of product going to a new customer in the US - by the same took 3 weeks to deliver 5 cartons (normally 4 or 5 days). The other two cartons, one is in Memphis and the another in Alaska."

– Gold Coast business

Regional Comparison Overview

View Regional Pulse Surveys by clicking on the region's name:


Latest results from the Business Chamber Queensland Pulse Survey March 2022 quarter show improved confidence for Brisbane business community about the future of both the state and national economies. However, it is important to note that this turnaround is from a low base from a challenging December quarter, as well as a tough start of the year with major flood events happened in the region in February 2022. As such, actual business performance still remains low.

The Hills & Districts Chamber of Commerce, Brisbane North chamber of Commerce, Redcliffe Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and Junior Chamber of Commerce Brisbane are proud partners of the report.

Far North Queensland

Latest results from the Business Chamber Queensland Pulse Survey for the March 2022 quarter indicated that Far North Queensland’s business confidence for the future of the state and national economies have remarkedly improved.

Cairns Chamber of Commerce is a proud partners of the report.

Gold Coast

Gold Coast businesses are confident that the future of the state and national economies will remarkedly improve. However, it is important to note that the turnaround is off a low base and actual business performance is reported to remain low.

Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce, Southport Chamber of Commerce, Greater Southern Gold Coast Chamber of commerce and GCNCC are proud partners of the report.

Sunshine Coast

Confidence improved in the March quarter with Sunshine Coast businesses anticipating a gradual strengthening in the national and Queensland economies over the next 12 months. However, business performance during the March quarter, while improved, is yet to reflect actual growth.

4556 Chamber of Commerce, Cooroy Chamber of Commerce and Caloundra Chamber of commerce are proud partners of the report.

Download the full report for all the insights by clicking on the link below:

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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.