Australia: Business confidence and conditions improve in April
The business confidence index produced by the National Australia Bank (NAB) increased to 10 points in April from 8 points in March. The series thus moved further above its long-run average and the neutral 0-point threshold, indicating that Australian businesses are largely optimistic regarding economic conditions.
Looking at the sector-by-sector picture, the construction, mining, and transport and utilities sectors grew more optimistic, while the manufacturing sector became slightly less optimistic. All sectors remain firmly in positive territory. Meanwhile, business conditions improved in April to an all-time high on the back of better trading conditions, profitability and employment. Forward orders, on the other hand, eased marginally but remained in positive territory, while the capacity utilization rate edged up in April. Coupled with elevated profitability, this bodes well for non-mining business investment this year.