Australia: Business sentiment falls back in November
The business confidence index produced by National Australia Bank (NAB) fell to plus 0.1 points in November, from plus 2.0 points in October. As a result, the index brushed the zero-point threshold, indicating that Australian businesses are largely neutral, on average, regarding economic conditions going forward. Moreover, the index fell further below its long-term average of plus 6.0.
In terms of sectors, confidence in the finance, construction and retail sectors laid in positive territory. On the other hand, confidence in the wholesale, mining and manufacturing sectors fell further into negative territory. On top of that, sentiment in the construction sector continued to increase, most likely reflecting an improvement in the housing market.
On the other hand, business conditions got somewhat rosier from October, on the back of an improvement in profitability, and despite a dip in trading conditions and a sharp fall in forward orders. Meanwhile, the employment sub-index remained steady from the previous month.