On 2 May 2017, the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) released its latest Director Sentiment Index which shows that Australia’s business leaders are more confident at the beginning of 2017 than they have been in the past 6 years, with overall sentiment increasing by 12.3 points (due largely to increased confidence around domestic and international economic conditions). 

AICD Chairman Elizabeth Proust AO FAICD has commented that “the results show that directors feel buoyed by the economic outlook and are taking a positive growth mindset”.  However, while optimistic on the business outlook, directors remain concerned with the level of public policy debate in Australia and the effect the Federal Government is having on business decision-making and consumer confidence.

Other key findings outlined by AICD include:

  • directors rated tax reform as the most important short term issue for the Federal Government to address (with 60% holding the belief that corporate taxation is too high) followed by energy policy and infrastructure;
  • directors nominated tighter controls on foreign purchases, a boost to housing supply through streamlined construction approvals and reform of negative gearing arrangements as the three top measures governments should prioritise to address housing affordability;
  • only 25% of directors believe the current AGM system is working well; and
  • almost 70% of directors say there is a risk-averse decision-making culture on Australian boards.

See AICD’s media release.

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