Australia: Business confidence strengthens to multi-year high in April
May 8, 2017
The business confidence index produced by the National Australia Bank (NAB) rose to 13 points in April, up from the 6 points registered in March and the highest reading in over seven years. The indicator is far above its long-term average of 6 points and even further above the 0-point threshold, which means that Australian businesses are optimistic regarding economic conditions in the coming months.
According to the NAB, the improvement is broad-based across states and industries, while the impact of Cyclone Debbie wasn’t as negative as might have been expected. Business conditions improved markedly, thanks to better employment conditions and profitability, which together offset weaker trading conditions. On the broader implications for the economy, the NAB commented, “we remain confident in our outlook for economic growth to accelerate in H2 2017, following some likely disruption in Q2 from Cyclone Debbie […] the longer-term economic outlook is somewhat less certain, however, as important growth drivers (LNG exports, commodity prices and housing construction) begin to fade.”
Author: Christopher Mc Innes, Economist