But it’s not all good news. While soft wages growth is generally good for businesses looking to hire, it’s not great news for businesses sensitive to household incomes and spending. Businesses are still paying close attention to their costs as utility bills in particular continue to rise.
Cameron agreed there were different factors driving both growth and headwinds for SMEs across the economy, acknowledging some businesses are “running lean because we've come off a period where it's been pretty tough”.
“I heard someone say to me a few years ago ‘once the economy really improves business owners will pin the ears back and… we’ll be throwing money everywhere’,” he said.
“I don't think that will happen. There’s been like a seismic shift in the way business owners think and I think that's still the case. “
“They've become a little bit more of a frugal bunch. Sure there's investment as and when necessary but it's not as though they're going hell for leather to reinvest.”
Cameron also touched on the desire for businesses to be successful and the surprising way that plays out in expansion plans. Listen to the podcast above to find out more.
Daniel Gradwell is a Senior Economist at ANZ Research