Conducted in the period immediately following the federal election, the Index shows that while director sentiment has risen to its highest point since the second half of 2013, directors have serious concerns about short-termism in policymaking and are calling on the Federal Government to increase infrastructure investment as the key driver of long-term economic growth.  

Key findings


  • Sentiment is at its most positive level since 2013 – Driven largely by a more upbeat view about the current health of the Australian economy and conditions for their business, director sentiment has risen 4.3 points and is at its highest point since the second half of 2013 however, overall sentiment remains pessimistic at -17.5.
  • Concerns Parliament may not be able to deliver reforms – While directors see a move away from short-termism as the key way to lift national productivity (44 per cent), they doubt the ability of government to deliver on long-term reform. Poor public policy debate, potential Senate road-blocks and reduced confidence in the government's understanding of business are common concerns.
  • Directors concerns about the state of nation's finances have heightened – Addressing the Federal Budget Deficit is now rated as the second most important issue for the Federal Government to address in the long-term. Eighty-two per cent of directors believe the Government needs to deliver a budget surplus in the next ten years.
  • Comprehensive reform of the taxation system remains a key priority – Multinational tax arrangements (50 per cent) are now the top priority for reform followed by personal income tax (45 per cent), company tax (45 per cent) and state based taxes (45 per cent).
  • Continued calls for long-term reform on "big issues" – Infrastructure remains the key priority for the Federal Government to address in the long-term but tax reform and budget repair are also priorities for directors. 

Summary report and full results


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About the Director Sentiment Index


The DSI is Australia’s only index of director views and sentiments on business, regulation, governance and public policy.


Now in its sixth year, the DSI is a key indicator of the issues that are important to our members and the wider director community. It is a driver for discussions on the economy, policy reform and corporate governance and is one way the AICD consults and engages members on advocacy issues. 


The Index is statistically representative of our membership. Conducted bi-annually, the survey measures the opinions, current priorities, future intentions and expectations of Australia's directors and is the only indicator of its kind in Australia.