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Financial News: Australia NAB Business Confidence, Conditions Improve In A

Australia NAB Business Confidence, Conditions Improve In August

09/13/2022 - 01:31:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Australia business confidence and conditions edged up in August as spending remained strong and cost indicators eased from the records set in July, survey results from National Australia Bank showed Tuesday.

The business confidence index rose two points to 10 in August from 8 in July. At the same time, the business conditions index improved slightly to 20 from 19 in the previous month.

Conditions remained strong across the states and in most industries, although the construction sector saw both conditions and confidence fall.

Within the business conditions index, trading conditions improved and employment and profitability remained strong.

Reinforcing the strong overall conditions, the capacity utilization rate remained at 86.3 percent, and the near-term outlook was also positive with forward orders rising.

The survey showed that measures of cost growth eased slightly in August after reaching record rates over recent surveys but remain very high by historical standards.

Labor costs gained 3.5 percent in quarterly terms, while purchase costs grew 4.4 percent. As demand remained robust, firms continued to pass costs through to consumers with overall product prices climbing 2.4 percent and retail prices growing at an unchanged 3.3 percent.

"Overall, the survey showed no signs that the strong conditions of recent months - including the strength seen in official consumption and retail sales data - had begun to moderate yet," NAB Group Chief Economist Alan Oster said.

"We continue to expect that inflation and rising interest rates will eventually begin to weigh on household budgets more materially, slowing the pace of consumption growth and, in turn, helping to ease inflationary pressure," said Oster.

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