Australian business conditions improve moderately: survey

14:42, October 12, 2010      

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Australian business conditions moderately improved in September despite a slight fall in confidence, a survey showed on Tuesday.

Business conditions survey conducted by the National Australia Bank (NAB), one of top five banks in Australia, showed conditions rose to seven index points in September, up from five in August, and still above the zero level that separates optimists from pessimists.

However, business confidence fell one index point to 10 points.

"The survey reflects the multi-speed economy now emerging, with conditions much stronger in mining and transport than in retail and manufacturing, while construction (might be transitioning) from dependence on public to private sector demand," NAB said in the report, released on Tuesday.

The survey found industries contributing to the improvement in overall conditions included mining, construction, finance, and transport and utilities.

But conditions deteriorated in manufacturing and wholesale, while there was only a marginal decline in recreation.

The survey showed conditions in September were strongest in mining at 57 points and transport and utilities at 25 points.

"Although mining sector conditions have been particularly volatile over recent months, the sectors trend has remained firmly positive," the survey said.

The survey results showed conditions in retail sector remained weakest at -4 points and were matched by a decline in wholesale business conditions.

Meanwhile, manufacturing rose just one index point, reflecting the strength of the Australian dollar.

Forward orders, stocks and capacity utilization all improved, with the report suggesting the economy may be starting to emerge from the weakness shown in the early part of the September quarter.



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