Australia NAB Business Confidence improved from -4 to -1 in March, while Business Conditions dropped slightly from 17 to 16. Delving into some details, trading conditions rose from 25 to 26, profitability conditions dipped from 14 to 13, and employment conditions fell from 12 to 10.
NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster commented, “Business conditions have been resilient, slowly edging lower over the past few months but remaining well above their long-run average.” He added that “trading conditions are particularly elevated, indicating that businesses continue to experience strong demand, and conditions are generally strong across states and sectors.”
On the topic of confidence, Oster stated, “Confidence appears to have stabilized, but it remains below average at -1 index point.” He noted that confidence was particularly poor in retail and wholesale sectors, likely due to firms being concerned about the sustainability of consumer spending.
In summary, the survey suggests the Australian economy is still holding up, with some easing in inflation. However, Oster emphasized that “there is still a long way to go to bring inflation back down to the RBA’s target band and growth could be more volatile from there.”