Australia: Business confidence rebounds in September
October 9, 2018
The business confidence index produced by National Australia Bank (NAB) rose to 6.2 points in September from 5.2 points in August. The index thus moved further above the zero-point threshold, indicating that Australian businesses are largely optimistic regarding economic conditions.
Looking at the sector-by-sector picture, the mining sector was the most optimistic by far, followed by the construction and manufacturing sectors. The wholesale sector, on the other hand, was the least optimistic. Nevertheless, all sectors remained in positive territory. Meanwhile, business conditions continued to improve in September on the back of a sizeable improvement in employment, only partially offset by marginally less positive trading conditions. The strong reading for the employment index indicates unemployment will decline further in the months ahead. The index on forward orders decreased somewhat but remained in positive territory, while capacity utilization also edged down in September. All-in-all, business conditions strengthened and moved further above their long-run average, which bodes well for non-mining business investment this year.
Australia Fixed Investment Forecast
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect fixed investment to expand 2.2% in 2019, unchanged from last month’s estimate, before decelerating slightly to 2.5% in 2020.