AN industry survey of almost 500 businesses has found the carbon tax increased their energy costs by an average of 14.5%.
But the survey, conducted at the end of November by the Australian Industry Group, also found the direct cost burden of carbon pricing remained unclear for a significant minority of businesses.
A third of manufacturering and construction firms and just under half of services businesses were unable to estimate the direct impact of the carbon tax on their own energy costs, six months after it commenced.
AIG chief executive Innes Willox said almost half of all businesses from across significant parts of the economy experienced an increase in their input costs immediately following the introduction of the tax on July 1 last year.
"In our survey of 485 businesses conducted at the end of November, estimated energy cost increases stemming from the carbon tax were broadly consistent across sectors," Mr Wilcox said.
"Manufacturing businesses estimated an average rise of 14.5%, service providers estimated an average rise of 13.6% and construction companies estimated an average increase of 14.8%.
"The high profile of the carbon tax appears to have led to some over-estimation by businesses of the specific impact of the carbon tax on their energy cost increases over the past year.
"In the November survey, manufacturing businesses attributed close to 85% of their total electricity cost increases over the past year to the carbon tax, whereas data from other sources suggest that, at least for many smaller businesses, the contribution of the carbon tax to total energy price rises was probably closer to one half."
Australian Industry Group (2013). Business Impacts of the Carbon Tax: The First Six Months.
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