A BUSINESS survey has found that respondents had more confidence in the Horsham economy than the wider Australian economy.
The Horsham Business Confidence Survey ran from December 18 to February 1.
There were 81 respondents.
Watts Price Accountants and Business Horsham ran the survey.
Respondents ranged from Firebrace Street and Horsham Plaza businesses to those outside Horsham central business district.
Most respondents were retailers, followed by the property and business services sector.
Business Horsham vice-chairman Brian Watts said the survey was the 10th one and it had been running for several years.
"What stands out to me in this survey, is the ratio of optimists to pessimists when it comes to conditions in the Horsham economy," he said.
"It was interesting to see that more people expected to see the Horsham economy to considerably improve during the next six months, more than they did the Australian economy and their industry.
"An encouraging 44.4 per cent expect Horsham conditions to improve in the next six months which makes it the second highest result in the six-monthly surveys.
"In relation to the Australian economy we see only 22.2 per cent of respondents expecting conditions to improve in the next six months, and a high 42 per cent expecting conditions to worsen during the same period.
"This might be a reflection that we have come out of a reasonable harvest.
"The Horsham economy is dominated by the rural sector, so if it's going well it has a positive impact."
Mr Watts said the survey results also showed the importance of staff training.
"We asked people, for their businesses to grow in the next six months, which areas required investment, assistance or attention," he said.
"Staff training received the greatest response; 44 respondents said yes, staff training is vital."
Mr Watts said he was disappointed with the response to the survey's final question.
"We asked whether people thought the Federal Government should force online retailers to charge GST on imported goods worth less than $1000, which are currently exempt from GST," he said.