Catering listed among risky sectors for 2009

Posted by Editorial on 15th January 2009

Amidst global financial meltdown and looming job losses, businesses – and employees – are apprehensive about what’s in store for 2009. Business information analysts IBISWorld have compiled a list of the “riskiest” industries this year, as well as those which are likely to be safe despite turbulent economic times.While the risk forecasts take historical data into account, they largely look ahead and consider vital information about the dynamic business environment and influencing factors which will be critical to each industry’s future performance. Factors taken into account include an industry’s life cycle, level of competition, trade exposure, external assistance, growth risk, macroeconomic variables and non-economic sensitivities.

Top 10 Riskiest:

  • Catering and food service contractors

IBISWorld believes lower demand for catering services from the financial and resources industries will hit this sector hard, as well as a prediction of poor demand for catering at sports and other major events as attendances fall in 2009. A predicted slump in Australian tourism will curb demand from airlines, while tighter budgets will see scaled-down or cancelled company events such as parties, conferences and off-site meetings.

  • Prawn fishing

Rising import competition and falling prices due to strong supply will affect this industry in 2009. A recent splurge over the holiday season would have helped as would the lower fuel costs, but IBISWorld sees rocky waters ahead.

Tyre manufacturing, car retailing, international airlines, real estate agents, boatbuilding, silver, lead and zinc ore mining, investment banking & securities brokerage, and bricklaying were the other eight sectors that the business analysts pinpointed as likely to face great risk in the year ahead.

The five industries listed as having the lowest risk were: nursing homes; veterinary services; diagnostic imaging; community health services and residential property owners and developers.

Fortunately for many in the food industry, food is not a discretionary item and, consequently, the sector will not be hit as hard as most others. Supermarkets, in particular, appear rather shielded, with most still boosting sales, while many Australia fast-food retailers have continued to post record figures. ABS data has suggested, however, that some restaurants and cafés have met with more challenging times, and the food and beverage manufacturing sector has posted mixed results. All in all, the future is a little hazy, but certainly not grim.