A monthly business survey shows sentiment about growth prospects in 2014 is continuing to improve.
The latest Dun and Bradstreet Business Expectations Survey shows sales forecasts have hit a 10-year high, with almost half of those polled projecting improved trade in the June quarter.
A third of all businesses also expect to raise their selling prices.
Dun and Bradstreet’s economic adviser Stephen Koukoulas says the steep rise in sales expectations is a vote of confidence from the private sector.
“Firms are expecting to increase their sales at the strongest pace in a decade,” he said.
“Matching that is also a further pick up in expected selling prices and, as we saw just recently with the official inflation numbers, our survey is suggesting that we’re going to see further inflation pressures in the next couple of quarters.”
The survey has also found that 70 per cent of firms are more optimistic about growth this year, compared to last year.
However, Mr Koukoulas says there is still some caution among firms in relation to investment and hiring intentions.
“The missing link so far in the improvement in the survey is it’s not yet translating over into a strong pick up in expected capital expenditure and business investment, nor a strong pick up in employment,” he added.
“Both those measures have ticked a little higher over the last six months, but they’re still well below the peak levels we’ve seen in recent years.”