Australian Business Conditions Ease Slightly

A measure of Australian business conditions pulled back from four-year highs in August as sales and profits eased, while booming conditions in the construction sector contrasted with gloom among miners.

National Australia Bank’s survey of more than 400 firms showed its index of business conditions halved to +4 in August, so unwinding much of July’s 5 points gain.  The report’s index of business confidence also dipped 2 points to +8, though that remains robust by historical standards. Confidence was strongest in the construction industry which is enjoying a major revival in home building, while mining was the only sector to have a negative reading.

“Business confidence remains resilient despite easing a little in August, supported by positive forward orders, subdued cost pressures and more stable consumer confidence,” wrote economists at NAB.  “The jump in business conditions last month was surprising, so some payback in August was expected.”


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