Australia's business conditions improved in the first quarter driven by an increase in profitability and employment, quarterly survey data from the National Australia Bank showed Thursday.
The current conditions index rose 2 points, to +8 in the first quarter. Business conditions were positive for all industries other than retail.
At the same time, the business confidence index held steady at 6, marginally above the long-run average.
"Leading indicators were more encouraging across the board in the March quarter, with firms telling us that the near-term outlook is looking even more upbeat," NAB Group Chief Economist Alan Oster, said.
"Their expectations for business conditions in both the near and longer term improved noticeably in the quarter, while a similar trend could be seen in both their hiring and capital expenditure intentions," the economist added.
More firms indicated that they were less comfortable with the current level of the Australian dollar, compared to the previous quarter. The survey still pointed to very subdued inflationary pressures.
by RTT Staff Writer
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