Australia: Business confidence continues to moderate in June
The business confidence index produced by the National Australia Bank (NAB) decreased to 6 points in June from 7 points in May. The series nevertheless remained above the neutral 0-point threshold, indicating that Australian businesses are largely optimistic regarding economic conditions.
Looking at the sector-by-sector picture, the manufacturing and transport and utilities sectors grew slightly less optimistic, while the construction and mining sectors became more optimistic. All sectors remained firmly in positive territory. Meanwhile, business conditions improved in June on the back of an improvement in trading conditions and profitability; on the other hand, the employment index decreased for the second consecutive month, although it is still consistent with the pace of jobs growth sufficient to keep the unemployment rate at least constant. Forward orders also eased somewhat but remained in positive territory, while capacity utilization edged up in June. All-in-all, business conditions remained strong, which bodes well for non-mining business investment this year.