Australia: Businesses grow less optimistic in June
The business confidence index produced by National Australia Bank (NAB) fell to plus 2.2 points in June from May’s plus 7.3 points. However, the index remained above the zero-point threshold, indicating that Australian businesses were mostly optimistic regarding economic conditions going forward.
June’s worsening was due to a deterioration in sentiment across all industries except retail. That said, confidence in the transport and utilities, and wholesale sectors showed the lowest levels, while it remained the highest in mining. Meanwhile, business conditions improved in June, as a result of gains in the employment and trading sub-indexed. However, forward orders and profitability were stuck in negative territory, suggesting firms’ margins remain under pressure. Lastly, capacity utilization increased sizably.