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Australia Business Confidence September 2019

Australia: Business sentiment slips again in September; business conditions remain sub-par

The business confidence index produced by National Australia Bank (NAB) dropped to minus 0.3 points in September, from plus 1.1 points in August. As a result, the index nevertheless slipped below zero-point threshold for the first time in six months, indicating that Australian businesses turned mostly pessimistic regarding economic conditions going forward.

In terms of sectors, confidence in the wholesale and the manufacturing sectors remained entrenched in negative territory, driving the overall result. On top of that, sentiment in the construction was similarly tepid, reflecting a still-weak residential construction sector. Notably, the mining sector recorded the highest levels of confidence.

Meanwhile, business conditions improved slightly from August’s close to five-year low. That said, despite marginal improvements in trading conditions and profitability, as well as the employment sub-index, business conditions remained generally downbeat, partly due to more negative forward orders.

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