ABS report points to Innovation as key to improved business performance

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Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) LogoMore than a third of Australian businesses reported an increase in income from the sale of goods or services between 2011-12 and 2012-13, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

“Businesses in the Financial and insurance services industry were most likely to report an increase in income, while in contrast, more than half of all businesses in Manufacturing had a decrease.” said Sue-Ellen Luke from the ABS. “However, against each of the measures, which included, among others, profitability, productivity and the total number of jobs or positions, businesses that had innovative activity during the year were more likely to report increases against the measures than non innovation-active businesses.”

More than a quarter of all businesses used trades skills in undertaking core business during 2012-13 and 7% had a shortage or deficiency in these skills during the same period. Consistent with previous results, during the year ended 30 June 2013, two thirds of businesses in the Construction industry used trades skills, with 16% of businesses in this industry reporting a shortage or deficiency of these skills.

Results also provide an insight into how businesses are using information technology. During 2012-13, almost half of all businesses had a web presence and more than a quarter of businesses had a social media presence. Businesses with innovative activity were more than twice as likely to be using these, with more than two thirds having a web presence and more than 40% having a social media presence.

Included in the release for the first time is information on government procurement. “Overall 8% of all businesses had a contract or agreement to supply goods or services to government during 2012-13. With innovation-active businesses almost twice as likely as non innovation-active businesses to have these arrangements in place” said Ms Luke.