The Australian economy remained weak during January as business conditions lost momentum, a report from NAB has said.
In its monthly business survey, the bank said business conditions had recorded a below average performance in the period to January.
“Conditions have fallen for three consecutive months, with the index dropping another half a point in January (unchanged when rounded) to +2 index points – below the long-run monthly survey average,” the report said.
NAB pointed to falling sales, easing profits and a soft employment sector as key trends over the month but noted that results varied across industry sectors.
“By industry, manufacturing deteriorated considerably, while most other industries were flat to lower – mining and wholesale were exceptions,” it said.
“Against that orders were up (albeit still soft), while non-mining capex is still reasonable.”
Meanwhile, confidence edged up over the month, defying the gloomy outlook for certain economic sectors, but remained below long-run averages, NAB found.
“The trend in confidence is clearly down and sits at relatively soft levels,” it said.
“Confidence remains close to its lowest level since the pre-election jump in mid-2013.”
Levels of confidence by industry were mixed, with the mining sector remaining weak but retail recording a “surprising improvement”, the report said.
Overall, NAB suggested the economy remains on shaky ground.
“The fundamental story painted by the January Business Survey is still one of a soft economy, with little momentum, weakish confidence and considerable difference across sectors,” it said.
After much speculation, NAB has appointed its new chief executive following the departure of Andrew Thorburn. ...
Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has changed its outlook on Westpac and ANZ from “stable” to “negative”, following APRA’s updat...
International investment group Mayfair 101 is launching a new brand to focus on Australian customers and provide diversified international i...