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Financial News: Australia's Business Confidence Improves; Conditions Weake

Australia's Business Confidence Improves; Conditions Weaken

09/08/2020 - 03:30:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Australia's business confidence improved in August, while business conditions weakened from the previous month, survey data from the National Australia Bank showed Tuesday.

The business confidence index rose to -8 from -14 in July. Although confidence rose in the month, it remained very weak and likely fragile.

Confidence was negative in all industries despite improvements outside of mining and recreational and personal in the month. Confidence was the weakest in mining and least worst in finance, business and property.

Meanwhile, the business conditions indicator fell to -6 in August from zero a month ago. The decline in conditions was driven by a sharp -11 points fall in the employment index. Trading was down 3 points and profitably dropped 4 points from the previous month.

Among leading indicators, forward orders weakened and capacity utilization edged lower and alongside the weak level of confidence, suggest that conditions may deteriorate further.

The survey showed that the impact of the Melbourne stage 4 restrictions on activity was evident in Victoria with a decline in conditions, though not as bad as feared. Encouragingly, confidence in Victoria improved, likely reflecting an improvement in case numbers.

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