Political turbulence at home and economic volatility abroad made for an uncertain business climate this year. Many hoped the federal election would bring the business community some much-needed stability, but such relief was fleeting. Confidence across sectors was in short supply, and the high dollar remained a source of frustration. The blocked takeover of GrainCorp and the seemingly never-ending cheese war added some high drama to a year otherwise characterised by a cautious outlook.
In February, Commonwealth Bank's Ian Narev hoped for an improvement in business conditions once a government was either installed or re-elected, telling Robert Gottliebsen: