CONFIDENCE for investors has sunk to a 23-year low, after a "bleak" Christmas period and downbeat outlook for 2015, a key survey shows.
The latest Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry investor confidence survey showed confidence sank in December.
It revealed investor hopes for 2015 were already hampered by expectations of growing unemployment, slowing economic growth and lower retail activity.
On every indicator, more than 640 businesses responded with the most negative outlook in the survey's 23 year history - with all indicators now in negative territory.
ACCI chief executive Kate Carnell said businesses felt "pretty grim" and despite a small upturn in activity in mid-2014, conditions had since reversed.
She said insufficient demand was the key constraint on investment for the second consecutive quarter, describing the current investment climate as "terrible".
Ms Carnell urged Federal Parliament to fix the budget and focus on "structural reforms" and the Reserve Bank to further cut interest rates, despite the cash rate being at a record low.
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