Hills Business Performance Sentiment Index (PSI)

What is the Business PSI?

The Hills Shire Council, in partnership with the Sydney Hills Business Chamber and designed and executed by McCrindle Research, have developed the first Business Performance and Sentiment Index (PSI) for the region. The McCrindle developed Business Performance Sentiment Index (Business PSI) is an ongoing measure of business performance, conditions, and sentiment, calculated through a metric involving 21 questions. 

Purpose and Use

The Business PSI is robust not only because its measures are derived directly from a survey of business proprietors and managers, but also because it measures current performance, with metrics derived from their actual earnings, expenses, staffing numbers, as well as sentiment – their economic cost and growth forecast and expectations of the six months ahead.

The Business PSI is designed to be deployed in our local area as it measures economic conditions, regulatory settings, and infrastructure in a local context. This allows for a more nuanced understanding of business performance and conditions. It gives a good measure of local economies and allows for comparison of business performance by region, across a city, within a state, and across states.

Additionally, the Business PSI is designed as a longitudinal instrument, and so business performance can be compared by region over time to get real-time analysis of local economic conditions, and so see the impact of local policies, investment, and infrastructure development, as well as measuring the impact of state and national issues and economic conditions.


The Business PSI is a tested and easy-to-deploy 21 question survey which allows us to survey businesses at any point in time, and compare these results to previous measures or benchmarks across our local areas.

It also allows industry groups and peak bodies to measure their members and so gain a PSI of specific business categories (such as hair-dressers, real estate agents, etc.) or broader business categories (i.e. retailers, B2B service providers, etc). The Business PSI results can be compared longitudinally, city by city.

As the Business PSI quantitatively measures business performance yet incorporates attitudes, sentiment, and forecast, it provides a comprehensive measure of actual and attitudinal measures and an index that incorporates recent performance and current forecasts.

2018 Hills Business PSI Results

This year’s business sentiment report defines how people think and feel about business in the Hills and gives us key themes to consider when we plan for the future.

We are experiencing unprecedented growth and change in The Hills Shire and while we understand that this growth will bring opportunities beyond our expectations, Council needs to balance growth with the needs of our residents and businesses and we are working hard to achieve that balance.

It’s pleasing to note that 46 per cent of the companies who have completed the survey have met with Council’s Economic Development Team and are reporting positive performance outcomes.

We value our relationship with our local business community and are proud of the things they achieve. Council is doing all we can to help business owners by providing information, workshops, data and skill-building opportunities to assist them make informed decisions and grow in the future.

The arrival of the Sydney Metro North-West is closer than ever before and planning now to make the most of the opportunities growth will bring is a smart move. I am committed to ongoing consultation with the community and the PSI survey is an excellent way for me to keep informed about issues affecting the business community.

Enjoy reading this report – I hope you find it as informative as I did.

Dr Michelle Byrne
Mayor of The Hills Shire

Sydney Hills Business PSI Report 2018(PDF, 2MB)