Australia: Business confidence improves in April
May 12, 2014
The business sentiment index published by the National Australian Bank (NAB) rose from 4 points in March to 6 points in April. Thus the indicator moved up above the 0-point threshold, which indicates that Australian businesses are optimistic regarding economic conditions in the coming months.
Only two of the seven categories that make up the business confidence index improved in April, yet this was enough to drive the index up. In particular, businesses were more optimistic regarding employment conditions, which is of special importance given that the unemployment rate is one of the main economic policy concerns in the country. Moreover, the situation of stocks also registered an improvement. On a negative note, business conditions fell slightly in April, which, according to the NAB, “point to a sluggish recovery in business activity,” despite the increase registered in the overall index.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see fixed investment growing 1.2% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. The panel sees investment expanding 1.6% in 2015.