Australian Business Confidence Falls, But NAB Says Sector Is Still Good

The National Australia Bank recently released their monthly business survey for June, which many in the country have been waiting for, from funeral directors in Perth to big-name corporate executives. The news from the review is somewhat lukewarm though, as data collected by the NAB says that confidence in the Australian business sector took a big hit last May, although NAB retorts that the business sector’s numbers are still good, overall.

The National Australia Bank’s business survey showed that the confidence dropped by 6 points in the index, from +13 to +7 during the time of May. That being said, this number is still higher than Australia’s average confidence index of +5.

According to Alan Oster, NAB’s Chief Economist, the business sector, despite the recent hit in confidence, is still quite upbeat, remaining unaffected by the lowering numbers of Australia’s housing sector.

The numbers for business conditions also dropped, going down one point to +12. According to the data, the drop was due to construction, property, finance and business services changing.

NAB noted, however, that all the sectors in the Australian business market recorded positive business conditions, which is the second time this has happened in the past seven years.

Notably, the mining industry recently experienced a resurgence, bouncing back up due to recent improvement in commodity prices across the country.

The NAB noted that the difference between the business confidence index and the conditions index was likely due to Australia’s uncertainty with the future. The long-term outlook for Australia’s business sector is not that optimistic, which is why the Reserve Bank put their interest rates on hold, which they state is part of their focus on financial stability, and will last for the foreseeable future.

The NAB has made its prediction for the nearer future, saying that the second half of the year is likely to see some economic growth coming back in force following the damage done by Cyclone Debbie. Mr. Oster has stated that the long term outlook is also uncertain, but if the important growth drivers for the country, such as LNG exports, housing construction, commodity prices, etc., improve, the forecast will be much better for everyone, including funeral directors in Perth in the coming months.