Interest rates are low, the dollar is falling and the economy is showing signs of life - but Australia's chief executives can still find plenty to worry about.
CEOs are generally more upbeat about business conditions in 2014 than they were a year ago, according to an Australian Industry Group survey - a finding in line with recent assessments from stock market analysts, economists and the Reserve Bank of Australia.
But with the economy still waiting for a driving force to replace the mining boom, business leaders are fretting about cautious consumers, high wage costs, restrictive regulations and, despite its recent improvement, the exchange rate.
The annual Ai Group Business Prospects survey highlighted five key concerns:
1. Lack of customer demand.
Particularly prevalent among mining services bosses, concerns over customers and clients not spending top the list for 2014 because of an expected rise in unemployment and slow growth in the economy.
2. Wage pressures.
Worries about higher wage costs crimping business growth have increased for 2014, with 15 per cent of the 241 CEOs surveyed ranking the issue among their top three concerns.
Ai Group, which represents businesses, said in a statement that industrial relations arrangements, wages and skill shortages "stand out as the leading areas of concern" for 2014.
This is despite Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing that wages growth was 2.7 per cent for the year to September, 2013.
Inflation for the period was 2.2 per cent and is currently 2.7 per cent.
3. The dollar must fall.
The Australian dollar is currently around 89 US cents - down from its 2013 trading range around US 95 cents - but businesses, particularly manufacturing, need it to come down further to be competitive.
The Ai Group report concludes that the Australian dollar remains high, maintaining "significant pressure on all exporters and import-competing businesses".
4. Not many jobs.
32 per cent of businesses expect they will sack staff this year - while 29 per cent plan to hire and the remaining 39 per cent will keep their headcount steady.
The number of manufacturing CEOs expecting to sack workers rose from 10 per cent in 2013 to 16 per cent in 2014 - a figure which may rise as the survey was done in October and November, 2013, before the announcement that Holden would cease local manufacturing and the federal government refused financial support for SPC Ardmona.
5. Mining services gloom.
Mining services is the sector with the gloomiest outlook, as CEOs contemplate the decline in new mining projects that will require their services.
Nearly half of the bosses in the sector - 46 per cent - expect conditions to worsen this year, although 46 per cent of leaders are also planning to ramp up spending during the year.
Services sector bosses - covering retail, health, utilities, communications, finance, property and hospitality - are the most optimistic about the year ahead, with 44 per cent expecting better business conditions after a tough 2013 and 74 per cent expecting higher sales turnover.
But service sector leaders were also the most worried about wage costs: 49 per cent said labour costs rose in 2013 and 43 per cent expect wages to rise again this year.