Ag and weather tipped to help CQ's underperforming business

STRONG agricultural commodity prices and improved weather conditions are expected to pull Central Queensland businesses out of a confidence slump and boost local economy activity.

That is according to Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland who painted a bleak business picture for CQ traders in the March quarter survey of business conditions.

General business conditions, sales and revenue, profitability, labour costs, employment levels and capital expenditure all fell on the scale, only trumped by North Queensland.

Anticipated benefit throughout the state in the next 12 months is expected to be dependent on the low Australian dollar, interest rates, weather and fuel prices which all combined to support economic activity in other parts of the state in the March quarter.

The resources sector, a hung parliament and the impending Federal election weighed down consumer and business confidence and demand, contributing to the slump in business conditions in CQ.

While indicators across the state pointed up, confidence was below the five year average but showed "mild optimism" with improving general business conditions, sales and profitability, employment and capital expenditure.

While the 12 month outlook for the Australian and Queensland economies both rose, they remained just shy of a neutral setting.

Central Queensland current

12 month outlook - 33.7

General business conditions - 27.6

Total sales/ revenue - 30.3

Profitability - 30.3 Labor costs - 55.3

Employment levels - 40.8

Capital expenditure - 43.4