Confidence up, but lending still tightens

Businesses are increasingly positive about the economy but still plan to tighten lending and credit policies in the next six months, a new survey has found.

In data provider Veda's annual credit management report, 27 per cent of credit managers they surveyed expected future economic conditions to have a positive impact on business.

Confidence in the economic future was up from 16 per cent in last year's survey.

But the 200 businesses surveyed were less positive about current economic conditions, with 60 per cent saying they were having a negative impact on their business.

"The survey suggests that uncertain economic conditions have continued over the past year, with the majority of credit managers reporting a negative impact on business," Veda's Moses Samaha said.

"However, optimism regarding future economic conditions has increased, and credit policies may be relaxed somewhat as a result."

Of those who had changed credit policy in the past six months, 70 per cent said they had increased or tightened their debt collection, down from a figure of 78 per cent in 2013.

However, only 61 per cent planned to do so in the next six months, an easing on the 73 per cent who said they would do so in the previous survey.